Yoto Kate Greenaway Medal Shortlist 2022
From a celebrated documentary artist, twelve portraits from the front lines of migration form an intimate record of why people leave behind the places they call home.
It is an unusual feeling to walk into a place that everyone is leaving…
Resisting his own urge to walk away, award-winning artist George Butler took his sketchbook and made, over the course of a decade, a series of remarkable pen-and-ink and watercolor portraits in war zones, refugee camps, and on the move. While he worked, his subjects—migrants and refugees in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia—shared their stories. Theirs are the human stories behind the headlines that tell of fleeing poverty, disaster, and war, and of venturing into the unknown in search of jobs, education, and security. Whether sketching by the hospital bed of a ten-year-old Syrian boy who survived an airstrike, drawing the doll of a little Palestinian girl with big questions, or talking with a Masai herdsman forced to abandon his rural Kenyan home for the Kibera slums, George Butler turns reflective art and sensitive reportage into an eloquent cry for understanding and empathy. Taken together and elegantly packaged, his beautiful portraits form a moving testament to our shared humanity—and the universal urge for safety and a better life.