Olivier Kugler’s intimate documentary drawings of refugees from Syria have established the award-winning artist as one of the world’s most important graphic reporters. Evoking the experiences of refugees he met in Iraqi Kurdistan, Greece, France, Germany, Switzerland and England, mostly on assignment for Médecins Sans Frontières, his beautifully observed portraits are combined with snatches of conversation and images of objects that have become a significant part of their lives.

Previously published in The Guardian, Harper’s, Port, Le Monde Diplomatique and many other publications, Escaping Wars and Waves collects the drawings together for the first time.

A portfolio, ‘Waiting State’, published in Harpers, portraying Syrians Kugler met in Iraqi Kurdistan, was the overall winner of the Association of Illustrators World Illustration Awards in 2015. Drawings from Escaping Wars and Waves have been exhibited at Somerset House in London and the Fumetto International Comix Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, as well as at the Helsinki Comics Festival and the Rich Mix Gallery in London.

Original sketches, pencil drawings and prints from Escaping War and Waves are on display at the Print House Gallery, Dalston until 15 July.
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Olivier Kugler studied Visual Communication in Germany and illustration at the School of Visual Arts, New York. He is based in London. He has won many awards, including the Association of Illustrators (AOI) Gold Award in 2004 and 2008 and the V&A Illustration Award in 2011. The German edition of Escaping War and Waves (Dem Krieg Entronnen, Edition Moderne, 2017) won the Gold Jury Prize at the 2018 European Design awards. The English edition is published by Myriad Editions and Penn State University Press.
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“These potent profiles from the migration front lines will leave an indelible impression on your brain and heart.” Joe Sacco