The Jakarta Post
An Indonesian illustrator has been named one of the winners of the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) first-ever art contest, titled Youth with Refugees.
The contest seeks to highlight how "everyone counts in the fight against the virus, including refugees".
According to a statement, 23-year-old Kayla Abigail Salim from Surabaya, East Java, submitted a work of art that "reflects how each and every person, including refugees, can play a role in the fight against COVID-19".
Kayla was among five winners in the Cartoon Category.
"In Indonesia, we work to advocate for refugees’ inclusion in the national system as the country and the people face this pandemic together. Kayla’s remarkable artwork resonates very well with our advocacy and what the UNHCR and all our partners work to achieve in Indonesia,” UNHCR representative in Indonesia Ann Maymann said in a statement.
Regarding the idea behind her winning artwork, Kayla said, "All of us, including refugees have different backgrounds. But one thing we have in common is the urge to fight the coronavirus. No matter how small, the efforts that we’ve made and that the refugees have made matter."
Kayla said she became interested in refugee issues during her graphic design studies at Lycée René Goscinny in Paris. “I hope that my artwork can help to inspire many more young people to care for refugees."
The series of illustrations focus mainly on the third theme of the competition which is 'Everyone has a role to play in...Posted by Kayla Abigail Salim on Tuesday, June 9, 2020
The contest attracted over 2,000 participants aged between 12 and 25 from 100 countries who sent their drawings and comic strips. One in four participants are said to be asylum seekers themselves.
In addition to the five Cartoon Category winners, the UNHCR also recognized seven participants with global prizes, five with regional prizes and 20 with special mentions. Those on the jury selecting the works included several UNHCR goodwill ambassadors, Japanese musician MIYAVI, Syrian refugee pilot Maya Ghazal, British actor Douglas Booth, American actress Kat Graham and British actress Gugu Mbatha Raw.
The contest aimed to inspire younger generations to be more inclusive of people who are forced to flee violence and persecution. (car/kes)