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Nils Burwitz has designed a commemorative poster for the UN

20-08-2013
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees tomorrow celebrates its first ever World Refugee Day and the poster for this year's global event has been designed by Majorca-based artist Nils Burwitz - who designed the stained glass windows for the Anglican Church in Palma. Burwitz was commissioned by the UNHCR, which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, to design and produce the commemorative poster and he has also produced a collection of numbered special editions. The inspiration for the work of art, which has been printed in a variety of languages, came from Burwitz's own personal experiences as a refugee. Nils Burwitz, his mother and two brothers fled the communist regime of East Germany during the Second World War. He explained last night that they were caught trying to flee the German sector on their first attempt, but managed to finally escape along a secret path - just as his mother-in-law and her three daughters fled the Russian revolution a generation before. Although Nils Burwitz was just a child when they left East Germany, he was aware at the time that he and his family were refugees and it is that personal experience that has remained with him ever since and helped inspire the poster. In the poster, Nils uses the top half, which features a relief of a ladder, to reflect the hope all refugees hold of a better life.

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