We reach out to people around the globe whose lives are being swept up by powerful historic forces
SO MUCH OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION HAS BEEN
ousted, expelled, cut loose, forced to flee or otherwise get moving, it’s surprising the planet hasn’t tilted off its axis.
In 2017 alone, almost 12 million people fled from violence, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center—and almost 19 million more were unmoored by catastrophic weather and other natural disasters. Those were just the people who remained within their home countries. According to the most recent tally published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there were also 22.5 million refugees in 2016—the highest level on record.
Within these mass-scale calamities are humanscale disorientations, and in the following pages we focus on some of them. In “The Other America,” Erika P. Rodríguez explores how the aftermath of Hurricane Maria is reshaping her identity as a Puerto Rican and as an American. In “The Resistance,” Wayne Martin Belger casts his artist’s eye on people who have been marginalized or scorned. In “The Rescuers,” Lucian Perkins travels to Le Chambon-surLignon, a French town with a remarkable tradition of helping refugees find themselves again.
Even when chaos and privation seem implacable, the human drive for dignity and validation abides.
IN OUR CHAOTIC ERA, THERE ARE OUT CASTS— AND PEOPLE WHO TAKE THEM IN
The train to Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a French village where strangers in need have been welcomed for centuries.