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(Photo: Harry Foster © Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation)
If they express their thirst for peace and aspire to a better life for their family, artists originating from countries and territories ravaged by conflicts-Algeria, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon-also denounce the absurdity of war, the way it has become a feature of everyday life, as well as any abuse and oppression of all kinds.
How can we not react when countries that we cherish-countries of our parents, of our neighbours, of our friends-are torn apart or disintegrate, thus putting our loved ones in peril of death? How can we not feel haunted and wounded by so much cruelty, so much injustice, without denouncing wrongdoing where it exists?
With their own means, the artists-who have ties both here and back there-burst apart the borders and remind us that we are all, in one way or another, bound up with the fate of others and that "our neighbours, even if they live on another continent, remain nonetheless our neighbours."
If their art allows them to exorcise pain or to express anger or hope, it also gives them the possibility of participating in the construction of new symbolic references that enrich their adoptive culture, as they express political and aesthetic points of view nourished by exile.