What is behind your choice of this piece of art in response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis?
Artist Moustafa Jacoub: My life message is supporting the oppressed and poor people in all the world through art, especially in my country Syria.
Why did this piece of art resonate for you or seem like it would give you an avenue into writing about the Syrian Refugee Crisis?
Poet Kirun Kapur: It’s an arresting image. The mixing of the real (the family walking, their bodies, their burdens) and what is beyond real (a massive, bloodied blade suspended in the sky) is such an effective method for revealing what’s true. I think that’s what resonated with me and helped me find my way into the poem.
What do you think is the role of art in regards to real-world, real-time events? In other words, what makes a “successful” occasional or political piece of writing or art?
Poet Kirun Kapur: For me, a “political” poem is no different than any other poem—it must surprise, move, illuminate, delight, and shake us. Its meaning and its methods must dance. It must create a truth that the reader enters into—with her own body and breath— as she speaks it.