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Seattle artist draws portraits of refugees to illustrate struggles of immigrating to America

A Seattle artist inspired to change the way people viewed immigrants and refugees wrote a book including illustrations of refugee survivors in the United States.
"Taghreed," one of Karisa Keasey's paintings of refugees included in her book, "When You Can't Go Home."
"Taghreed," one of Karisa Keasey's paintings of refugees included in her book, "When You Can't Go Home."(CNN)
Published: Aug. 8, 2020 at 3:19 PM EDT
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(CNN) -A Seattle artist inspired to change the way people viewed immigrants and refugees wrote a book including illustrations of refugee survivors in the United States.

Karisa Keasey’s book “When You Can’t Go Home,” consists of 10 stories of refugee families who have resettled in the Pacific Northwest after years of hardship.

“There is a disconnect between who refugees are and how they are often portrayed in the media,” said Keasey. “They are not terrorists, victims or saints. They are people. I painted images of what I saw: mothers, fathers, siblings, entrepreneurs, artists, doctors and grandparents who are more than their status as a refugee. I painted their humanity.”

Keasey said she has thirty watercolor portraits that accompany each person’s story. The paintings ranges from the conflicts that person faces in their home countries, life in refugee camps and the process of attaining refugee status.

50% of the book’s profits will go to the refugee resettlement organization World Relief.

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