Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary

Swarthmore College



An image from Daniel Heyman’s Bearing Witness, an artist’s book about the Iraq War. Photo courtesy of Swarthmore Library.


Book artist Angela Lorenz describes her work, Life, Life Eternal Life: Uncle Wiggily Meets The Pilgrim’s Progress, to patrons of the McCabe Library. Photo courtesy of Swarthmore Library.


Staff and residents of Scattergood Hostel, 1940. Scattergood Hostel, a former Quaker boarding school, was used as a hostel for refugees fleeing Germany after 1940. Photo courtesy of the Peace Collection, Swarthmore College.


Artwork created by NSC clients through a partnership with Build a Bridge International. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Swarthmore College's Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary will bring together book artists and members of Philadelphia’s Iraqi and Syrian refugee communities to create artists’ books that amplify personal narratives of displacement, immigration, and sanctuary. Working in partnership with the immigrant and refugee service organization Nationalities Service Center, Swarthmore will invite a group of refugees to work with three book artists and participate in multi-day workshops designed to provide access to new creative tools, and to explore various aspects of visual storytelling, artistic expression, and craft. Swarthmore’s library collections—including a large book arts collection and the “Peace Collection,” the largest archive of peace-related material in the US—will be made available to participants, with materials translated into Arabic. Both the workshop participants and the book artists will create books for a culminating exhibition, and an exhibition catalogue will document the project and the artistic work.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.