Sunday, December 22, 2013

Post Square 12.21.13 ~ 55,000 Without a Home

Post Square 12.21.13 ~ 55,000 Without a Home

There are 55,000 Africans living illegally in Israel. They fled their countries because of the famine, genocide and fighting between government forces and rebel groups, and they are seeking asylum. A barrier has been constructed to keep more of these illegal migrants from coming in, but the problem remains about what to do with the refugees who are already there.

Israelis have differing attitudes toward the Africans. Some fear the increased crime and poverty. Others feel the migrants need work permits until they are able to present their cases for asylum.

The Israeli government does not want to force the African migrants to leave, but it does want to discourage them from staying. A detention facility was built in southern Israel to hold over 3,000 illegal immigrants. Residents there are required to answer daily roll calls, are not allowed to work, and they are locked in at night. Several of the first migrants sent to the facility left and crossed the desert to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They protested for asylum or to be turned over to an internal refugee agency.

Many of the immigrants live in crowded apartments in Tel Aviv. Some have found off-the-books work as restaurant workers or maids. Some have opened small shops. They live in fear of being arrested. They know Israel wants them to go home, but they have no homes to return to.

The drawing ~ I took the image of a group of African men running across the Israeli desert and colored in their flat silhouettes with a dark red-brown, then went over that with a sand color to blur the edges and suggest movement. When I scanned the image it really didn’t read well on the computer and I ended up inverting the colors to make it bolder.

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