I painted this mural for @murmursfestival in Decazeville, France. On the first day of the festival, I met a group of refugees who’d arrived in Decazeville during the last 2 years. Ajoua, a climate refugee from Mali chose the word “Paix” (peace in French). Anjoua 20 years old, reached France a few months ago and doesn’t yet know if he’ll be able to stay. Climate change is drying up his homeland, forcing the Fula herders to bring their cattle further and further across the Sahel region in order to find vegetation. Clashes errupted when the Fula started brining their animals to Dogon territory. The Dogon are mostly farmers and had to defend their crops for their own survival. The clashes have killed hunderds of people and have forced many more to flee. Ajoua told me that this isn’t really an ethnic problem, it’s a climate change problem.
I’ve been hearing these stories across West and East Africa for years. Climate refugees aren’t just something that will happen in the future. It’s happening right now.
(Photos by @alex_gallosi)