|Sudanese Shelter (2011) - Ramona Dallum Lindsey, Artist|
Nature's creatures depend on trees for nourishment and shelter. Birds nest in their lush leaves. Insects hide in the crevices of its bark. Snakes slither around outstretched branches. In the late 1980's unexpected creatures climbed the trunks of strong trees seeking the protective crooks of their branches.
Southern Sudan was home to a deadly civil war in the 1980's. Thousands of young boys fled as their villages and families were destroyed by government sponsored militia raids. These young children became homeless orphans. They were internationally known as the Lost Boys of Sudan.
While living in Auburn, Alabama I met one of these young men. He was a member of Auburn University's track team. Through his coach's wife, I learned how he, his brother, and other boys sought refuge from government militia patrols. They hid in the branches of trees during the day and walked under the cover of darkness until they reached Ethiopian and Kenyan refugee camps. These young boys walked thousands of miles over a period of months to reach safety. The Auburn athlete and his brother eventually resettled in the U.S. They were among approximately 3800 Lost Boys who started new lives in the United States.
Sudanese Shelter, the third tree in the Trees of Life Series, is my tribute to the resiliency and perseverance of the human spirit. It is also a reminder of the unnatural impact of hate. It will be on display and available at Gallery D'estee: Art Intensified March 2nd and 3rd, 2012. More information about Gallery D'estee is available at http://chicagodeltas.com/2012/02/art-intensified-and-art-demystified/.