Tyler Hicks’ Refugees

This summer, Jerusalem Peacebuilders Youth Leadership Program brings Jewish, Christian and Muslim teenagers from across the Middle East to 4 sites in the US. They learn about each other — and themselves — in the hopes of creating a better future across religions, cultures and nationalities.

New Haven is one of those 4 hosts. This week, participants worked together on a large mural depicting young refugees washing ashore. Called “We Welcome Refugees,” it will hang near Exit 42 of I-95 in West Haven.

Working on the mural, on the New Haven Green. (Photo/Carly Wanna for New Haven Independent)

According to the New Haven Independent, the mural was inspired by a photo of a young Turkish boy arriving in Greece in 2015. Artist Russell Rainbolt — who is working with the Jerusalem Peacebuilders teens — generalized the image to represent all refugees, everywhere. That fits well with the program’s theme of a common humanity.

Nice. But why is this story “06880”-worthy?

The photo that the Rainbolt and the teenagers are working from was taken by New York Times photographer Tyler Hicks.

The Tyler Hicks photo that inspired artist Russell Rainbolt. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

And — as proud Westporters know — that Pulitzer Prize winner is a 1988 graduate of Staples High School.

For the past couple of decades, he’s wandered — and photographed — the world. These days, he lives in Kenya.

But an impressive interpretation of his work will soon hang a few miles from here. “06880” is indeed where Westport — and West Haven — meet the world.

(Hat tip: Mary Webber)

One response to “Tyler Hicks’ Refugees

  1. Nancy Hunter

    Practice what you preach, Westport.
    Maybe go back and write essays about white privilege, since you didn’t get it the first time.
    Kudos to New Haven.