Julio "The Brazilian"


When I arrived at Krome, I was so depressed that I slept for days, not doing anything or communicating with anyone. Julio came to my bunk and woke me up and said; “You can’t do this. You can’t let depression take over. You must be a warrior. You must get up and get involved.” He asked me; “Who are you and what do you do?” I told him that I was an artist and he replied; “Why aren’t you drawing?”

I felt annoyed at his insistence and decided to draw him rapidly to get him off my back. As I was drawing him more and more guys came over and said; “We want to be drawn too.” And in conversation they started telling me the reasons for coming to this country, the hardships they had to endure in order to get here, escaping persecution, hunger, and danger and looking for a better life. As I heard their stories I came up with the idea for this project. It was a way for Art to become my salvation and in doing so giving voices to the voiceless.

Thank you Julio.

Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A.), Julio "The Brazilian," Brazil, 2012, Ball point pen on paper.