In April 2018 Hannah travelled to refugee camps in Bangladesh through the NGO BRAC. Over one million Rohingya Muslims have fled violence across the border in neighbouring Myanmar. Hannah painted these portraits to show the human stories behind what was described as the ‘world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.’
"Dehumanization has been used to justify genocidal violence throughout history. It is essential to recognise our shared humanity and that we have more in common than what divides us." - Hannah Rose Thomas
These paintings are a reflection of the stories that Hannah heard and of the ongoing trauma that the Rohingya community face, stranded in limbo, uncertain of what the future will hold. Hannah painted the portraits using the traditional oil painting techniques of chiaroscuro and sfumato, as if to create an impression of flames flickering in the women’s faces, from the terrifying experience of witnessing their villages burned in Myanmar.
These paintings were shown in the European Parliament January 2019 to highlight the plight of Rohingya refugees.