Millions of refugees and the agencies that assist them have turned to technology as a vital resource, but gaps remain. How can tech be developed and used more strategically in humanitarian settings?
Morcos Key's second visualization for RAND Art + Data explores how millions of refugees around the world rely on digital technology—particularly mobile phones—as an essential tool for survival, for communication, and for holding onto their history and identity.
The primary visual of this piece is a photograph taken by Wael Morcos in May 2009 on the shoreline of Antelias, Lebanon. In the photo, two people hug while looking across the horizon. “The expansive body of water becomes a metaphor for the crossing—the distance that many refugees travel,” Morcos says. “And the two human bodies intertwining remind us that, while technology can shorten the distance, it can never replace the warmth of an embrace.”Explore the research behind this piece Learn more about Morcos Key
In the past two decades, the global population of forcibly displaced people has more than doubled, from 34 million in 1997 to 71 million in 2018. This growing crisis is straining host countries, the international humanitarian system and, of course, refugees themselves. RAND research examines how technology can be part of the solution.
Morcos Key is the Brooklyn-based design studio of Jon(athan) Key and Wael Morcos. In their work, they often collaborate with arts and cultural institutions, nonprofits, and commercial enterprises in North America and the Middle East. Their goal is to create visual systems that demonstrate how thoughtful conversation and formal expression make for impactful design.Learn more