According to current estimates, as many as twenty million children are displaced by armed conflicts or human rights violations around the world. Ali Golzad has a strong affinity for these traumatized. We often saw many children when they were very young, they were forced to flee their native due to revolution there and lived as orphans. To us the plight of child soldiers and children abused as sex slaves escapes notice in the civilized word which causes all of us to question how civilized we really are.
These children are invisible people. Ali Golzad’s choice of material, corrugated cardboard, to create bas-relief portraits of displaced children in their native habitats, reflects their unseen status. Like corrugated cardboard, the twenty million are everywhere yet invisible. He had struggled with my material to create images that are highly emotional. The three-dimensional shapes of the eyes, noses and mouths, the wrinkled clothing, and the shapes of the hands and arms, outlined with Sharpie-lines, are a result of his struggle with the cardboard to capture the empathy we would have for any enslaved people. His goal with “Invisible People” is to create moving artworks that bring up emotions of estrangement and anomie we all experience from time to time.