Déplacé·e·s, Rwanda, 2022
Following his installation of five-year-old refugee Valeriia in Ukraine, JR continued to draw attention to the struggles refugee children face around the world. In May of 2022, he visited the Mugombwa refugee camp in Rwanda by the border of Burundi where thousands of people live having fled their homes in the Congo. JR photographed an eight-year-old boy named Thierry living in the camp and printed his smiling and running image on a 45-meter-long tarp, just as he had done with Valeriia. Children and adults in Mugombwa came together and held Thierry’s image up to the sky to show that there are children stuck in refugee camps all around the world. These children’s lives have been deeply impacted by war, climate change, and social instability and their stories often receive less attention from the media.
JR and his team also organized an Inside Out Action that made visible all the children living in the refugee camp. The faces of 126 children were pasted around the camp, transforming the walls of their community.
Déplacé·e·s, Rwanda culminated in a picnic around the eyes of Kevine, another child living at the Mugombwa refugee camp. All the children came together to play, eat lunch, and enjoy music around the eyes of their peer.