Artist Phil Collins Examines How War Is Presented to the Public in 'how to make a refugee'

by Anthony Merino

13 September 2016

how to make a refugee (© Phil Collins, 1999) 
cover art

how to make a refugee

Director: Phil Collins
Cast: Anonymous

US theatrical: 1992

You know that kid’s not out there. Uh, you know, filming a letter from home with a Betamax. Huh? You know there’s a director five feet away going: “Don’t feed him yet! Get that sandwich out of here It doesn’t work unless he looks hungry!”
—Sam Kinison, Outlaws of Comedy, 1990

A few weeks ago, a video still of Omran Daqneesh, a five-year-old Syrian child, inserted itself into the public consciousness. On 17 August, Omran was pulled from the rubble of a building in Aleppo, Syria. A paramedic placed him in an orange chair. In the image, Omar, covered in ash and blood, blindly looks forward. The image was pulled from a video by Mostfa Saroot that was uploaded to YouTube. Just a quick search on the AMC YouTube page shows thousands of additional equally disturbing images. Yet it was this image that put a human face on the war in Syria.

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