“Around the world,” writes the model Iman, “in places such as Syria, Yemen, northern Ethiopia, people are being driven from homes, across borders, into camps and left to sojourn for years in places where they may not know the language, where they have no citizenship and often no prospects.”
Iman speaks from personal experience. Having fled in the night as a teenager across the Kenyan border from her home in Somalia, she knows more intimately than many how, for millennia, our world has existed in a perpetual crisis of human displacement. Of late, refugeehood is once again front and centre in Western minds, on our screens and in our headlines. The devastating effects of war in Ukraine – which has already seen millions of people make passage across its borders – have taken our attention to the plight of those who have no choice but to flee their homes, separate from families and leave all they know behind.
In On Dangerous Ground, Vogue has gathered a unique set of voices to spotlight the ever-evolving global refugee crisis, from former model Halima Aden to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia to writer Fatima Bhutto, as well as Daria Slobodianyk, a colleague at Vogue Ukraine who, at the time of writing, is sheltering in situ, faced with the seemingly impossible choice to go or stay. We hear, too, from reporters, including award-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario and legendary image-maker Don McCullin, whose tireless first-hand documentation of war and its consequences have shown it is never a single region in crisis. It is a world.
I am enormously grateful to all these contributors for sharing their experiences. It is only by telling a variety of stories that we can hope to humanise all refugees; to show the same compassion towards crises near and far; to find the same level of empathy for those who happen to look a little like us and those who don’t.
As ever, compassion is king. Also in the issue, we Meet The Parents for a portfolio of fashion creatives captured by photographer Annie Leibovitz, celebrating the evolution of family in all its forms.
Speaking of fashionable families, this month also happens to mark the debut British Vogue cover of one Lila Moss, a model who might be following in her mother Kate’s footsteps but is very much doing things her own way. Read her most in-depth interview yet, accompanied by a fashion fantasy courtesy of photographer Steven Meisel. Enjoy.
The May 2022 issue of British Vogue is on newsstands on Tuesday 26 April.