A Shared Longing for Home in A Changing World: A Refugee-Themed Book Exhibition by the UN Refugee Agency launched on the World Humanitarian Day tells refugee stories
19 August 2022
19 August 2022, Beijing, China – Today UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, re-launches their refugee-themed book exhibition titled “A Shared Longing for Home in a Changing World” at an iconic new location. The exhibition focuses on literature related to refugees and is re-launched to commemorate World Humanitarian Day at a time when 100 million people worldwide - one percent of humanity - have been forcibly displaced. The exhibition will be on display at PAGEONE’s Beijing Fun bookstore for the next month.
Siddharth Chatterjee, United Nations Resident Coordinator in China said at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, “UNHCR is a frontline humanitarian member of the UN family responding to the most human dimension of these emergencies: people forced to flee violence, conflict and persecution. On World Humanitarian Day, we reflect on the importance, effectiveness and positive impact of the UN’s humanitarian work, to which UNHCR contributes.”
UNHCR’s refugee-themed book exhibition was initially launched to mark World Book Day on 23 April and has now been redesigned at the new location. It features a curated list of 22 books written by, for and about refugees. These books reveal how refugees struggle, survive and thrive. Some refugee writers including Khaled Hosseini, author of “The Kite Runner”, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, are well known to Chinese readers. Their talent as storytellers alongside their own stories of fleeing war, conflicts and persecution bring us bring readers insight into the lives and perspectives of refugees.
“UNHCR hopes that literature can help us in our outreach to step beyond statistics and into stories that reveal human portraits of the refugee experience. We hope the people who visit our exhibition and read these books will find a connection somewhere that will inspire them to keep learning more and do something to support.” said Vanno Noupech, UNHCR Representative in China.
Featured books are complemented by images, videos and a display of 12 items refugees often mentioned bringing when they fled home. The exhibition is an opportunity for the public to immerse themselves in the plight and hope of refugees. Visitors will be able to see why and how refugees flee home, how they survive and start new lives as well as the many ways they contribute to their host countries and communities. Through the exhibition, the audience can feel and connect to their lasting longing for home, something everyone can identify with.
“I am rarely aware of the existence of refugees in the environment of my life. But whenever I realize they share this same planet with me, I feel unsettled. They remind me of the fragility of our life. I think I need to do something for them,” said Professor Xi Chuan, a Chinese contemporary poet.
Through literature, UNHCR hopes to help public audiences understand and connect with the human side of the refugee experience. The book exhibition at PAGEONE’s Beijing Fun location will close on 19 September 2022.