• ‘Freedom does not need wings, what it needs is to put down roots’ •
Madrid-based arts collective Boa Mistura completed a new inspirational mural this month at the refugee welcome center run by the Spanish Commission for Refugee Assistance (CEAR, Comisión Española De Ayuda Al Refugiados) in the Madrid suburb of Getafe, which currently shelters more than 120 refugees and asylum seekers of 15 different nationalities as they await placement and integration into different communities across Spain.
Boa Mistura, a five-member internationally acclaimed arts collective that was formed in 2001 from the members’ roots in graffiti and street art in Madrid, completed the mural with the help of 50 refugees and volunteers, painting and then transforming a vibrant mural on the perimeter fence of the center into the words of Nobel prize-winning Mexican poet Octavio Paz: “Freedom does not need wings, what it needs is to put down roots.”
The five-year-old refugee center in Getafe is one of five centers operated by CEAR nationwide (the others are in Cullera (Valencia), Málaga y Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), along with additional refugee assistance programs in Barcelona, Bilbao, Leganés y Sevilla, where the commission’s multidisciplinary teams attend to approximately 700 refugees and asylum seekers every year. Since 2006, CEAR has helped to provide shelter and assistance to nearly 6,000 refugees seeking resettlement and integration into Spanish society.
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