The waves of migrants who have arrived in Europe, hoping to escape horrors in their home countries, have evoked a broad range of emotions in Europe and around the globe. Throughout the crisis, desperate refugees, after initial goodwill, have faced unparalleled hate and dehumanisation, but two photographs, in particular, have created empathy for the impossible choices faced by those fleeing their home nation. The world responded in outrage when the photograph of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a young Syrian boy who was face down on the Turkish shore after drowning in his family’s attempt to reach Greece went viral in September 2015. It seemed that the world finally understood the dangers that refugees faced as they attempted to make their way across Europe. But all too quickly, as the backlash began against the refugees, Aylan’s tragedy was forgotten and he was being depicted in cartoons, had he lived, as a future rapist chasing white European women. Angela Merkel, seen as the champion of the refugees, saw her political fortunes decline.
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