The daily news coverage of the Arab Spring, and of the natural and nuclear disaster of Japan in the beginning of 2011, showed numerous images of fugitives and evacuated families. What captured my attention most, was the huge amount of luggage carried. I got interested in the question of: What one carries when obliged to migrate, i.e. what one determines as necessary in this day and age.
The limit size and the amount of luggage certainly depends on which circumstances of traveling. Next to basic commodities, like clothing, toiletry, and personal items, luggage becomes a temporary portable home, packed with memories and relics, in search of a new home and better future.
Millions of people move to 'unexplored territories' every year for many different reasons. A high percentage leave their own country due to a lack of prospects, others, in the real sense, migrate, in order to survive. My recent work has been based on choosing three examples of migration, from three fictional stories that I have written. I then used what I had imagined the content of the luggage to be for each character and turned the idea into a series of illustrated booklets called Farewell.
Farewell tells the stories of: A Japanese family that is being evacuated from their hometown after a devatating earthquake that left their village in pieces; A Tunesian guest worker, living in Lybia, trying to escape the rising Civil War; And a Mexican woman on her way to try and make it into the US, after she left her family, due to a lack of prospect in her own country.