Displace: Exploring Experiences of Leaving Home and Seeking RefugePrint Design
Displace explores life as a refugee. It examines ideas of home and what it means to live without one for years on end.
Each chapter has a slightly different visual approach in order to create a sense of constant disruption, echoing refugee life. The title of the book wraps around the covers so the act of opening the book breaks open the word. The book was conceptualized as being published by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a non-profit that helps refugees in crisis and with resettlement.
The predominant color palette is of black and white, punctuated by moments of raw orange and warm yellow.
The chapters cover ideas of home, the journey from it, human rights, what shelter looks like, and refugee stories around finding a new sense of home.
One of the most meaningful sources I found was the poem Home by Warsan Shire, a British poet born in Kenya to Somali parents. The poem opens: No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark. You only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well.
The Shelter chapter compares the reality of refugee camps (and the fact that refugees spend 17 years displaced on average) to idealistic housing solutions proposed by designers around the world.
The final chapter, Invitation, finally introduces full color as it shows the stories and pictures of refugees themselves.
The book ends, as it began, with imagery of an ocean. It symbolizes a ceaseless journey and uncertain future.
© Robin Vane 2019