Swoon – Maram
Dimensions: 82 x 67.5″ dimensions
Medium: Block print and acrylic gouache on paper mounted to found object (2 wooden doors, one with small glass window)
During visits to Europe in 2016 Swoon met with refugees on the continent and in Malmö, Sweden. For Swoon, it was a humbling and powerful experience to get to know young people who fled war-torn nations, who were also bravely, earnestly, and with overwhelming gratitude building new lives. Maram Alawad was a young woman from Syria who was among the refugees taken in by Sweden after escaping the Syrian civil war with her family. Her powerful story, which was so much stronger than the stories told in the news, inspired Swoon to invite Maram to participate in a storytelling project which the Skissernas Museum organized from 2016-2017, along with that created by The Million Person Project. Rather than using an image of Maram that reflects the sorrow and pain she experienced during her journey as a refugee, Swoon chose one of Maram laughing, symbolizing the joy and hope she feels in her new life.