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Welcome to the landing page of Dismantling Fear: Voices of Tucson's Refugee Community. Scroll on to see who these people are and click on their picture to hear their stories. 





This project brings together a team of University of Arizona researchers and is led by Dr. Orhon Myadar. The project was conceived as a modest response to the fear and suspicion of individuals who resettle in the U.S. as refugees in both local and national discourses.  Believing that the fear is driven, at least in part, by lack of understanding of the refugee settlement processes, we aim to bring the humanity and unique stories of individuals forced to leave their homes and their countries because of conditions beyond their control. 


Over the last year and a half, we have interviewed many individuals from diverse backgrounds who are united in their common experience of displacement from their homelands and their struggles to rebuild their lives in a new place.  They have invited us into their homes, offered their food and shared intimate stories of struggle, survival and perseverance. This magazine is a window into the particular kind of lived experience that these individuals face as they adopt Tucson as their new home.  We present ten individuals who share their unique stories of the dialectical experience of both desiring to integrate into their host community and to preserve pieces of who they are.

"They can take away my home, but they can't take away my future & my vision."

-Donatian Mahanga


Most fear stems from the unknown. It arises when there is an absence and/or misinterpretation of information. The first image of this site is a compilation of all the lines from the map illustrations accompanying each refugee. By overlaying select information without any context, an unsettling image forms. However, when one looks at each person's story and sees the individual components for what they are, understanding replaces fear.



Orhon Myadar

As a political geographer, Orhon Myadar studies geographical implications of politics at various scales. She studies how borders of belonging or exclusion shift as political regimes change and how these fluid borders shape everyday struggles of underserved and marginalized individuals and communities. Myadar's current research examines forced mobility in the context of political turmoil. She is particularly interested in the ways narratives are told by, for, and about persons who have been forced to move and how these narratives shape the production and dissemination of knowledge about these persons.

Lisa Hochtritt

Lisa Hochtritt has an Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University in Art and Art Education. She is the co-editor of the Routledge anthologies, Makers, Crafters, Educators: Working for Cultural Change(forthcoming) with Elizabeth Garber and Manisha Sharma and Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons(2012) with Therese Quinn and John Ploof, as well as articles and book chapters on youth culture and social justice education. She has received awards for her teaching and service to the field including the National Art Education Association Higher Education Art Educator of the Year, Pacific Region (2014) and Colorado Art Education Association Colorado Art Educator of the Year (2011).

Stephanie Reid

Stephanie Reid is a graphic designer and illustrator based in New York City. She graduated from the University of Arizona summa kum laude. She has had her work exhibited in the Illustration and Design Showcase in 2016 & 2017 and the BFA Show in 2018. For two years, she worked for the University’s Marketing Department. In the summer of 2017, she interned with Spring Creative Agency and got to experience the fast paced world of advertising for luxury brands in NYC. Recently, she has been doing freelance work that encompasses logo and brand identity creation, packaging, and publication design. She is inspired by creating work that has meaning and is drawn to projects that have a social impact, such as this one.



Close to 200 copies of Dismantling Fear: Voices of Tucson's Refugee Community were distributed at an event at the Tucson Museum of Art on May 5th, 2018. People were allowed to take a copy and could put down their information if they wanted to find out more about refugees in their community.



Organized by Orhon Myadar, Lisa Hochtritt, Stephanie Troutman &  Joseph Farbook on April 20, 2017 to present their project: Dismantling Fear: Voices of Tucson's Refugee Community. Attendees included the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry, who generously funded their vision.

This project has been generously funded by the University of Arizona Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry
and SBS Research.

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