The Mapping Journey,’ Bouchra Khalili’s Searing Refugee Project

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By RANDY KENNEDYMARCH 30, 2016

An excerpt from Bouchra Khalili’s “The Mapping Journey Project,” which includes eight videos recounting refugees’ harrowing experiences, at the Museum of Modern Art. Credit Bouchra Khalili
In the Moroccan-French artist Bouchra Khalili’s powerful video work “The Mapping Journey Project,” the formal elements are pared to necessities: a paper map of the world; a hand holding a marker, drawing lines on the map across oceans and borders; a voice of a man or a woman telling a first-person story, sometimes harrowing, always arduous, of immigrating illegally from the Middle East or Africa to Europe in search of a better life.

The eight videos, which Ms. Khalili made by immersing herself in cities known as migrant transit points, will appear on suspended screens filling the atrium at the Museum of Modern Art beginning Saturday, April 9. Against the backdrop of the refugee crisis in Europe, the testimonials — which appeared in 2014 in the New Museum’s “Here and Elsewhere” exhibition of contemporary art from the Arab world — seem only to have gained depth and poignancy. (Through Aug. 28. 212-708-9400; moma.org.)

A version of this article appears in print on April 3, 2016, on page AR4 of the New York edition with the headline: Art; From the Mouths of Those Fleeing. Order Reprints| Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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