Life jackets have become a symbol lately: the bright vests have appeared in numerous installations — some conceived by artists — protesting the handling and ignoring of the refugee crisis by politicians, the media, and those of us who remain unaffected. The NGOs’ undertaking, Project Life Jacket, is the newest one to recognize the evocative power of the flotation devices, but instead of sending a message through the use of a massive quantity, it centers on the individual stories attached to each.
“What those jackets really mean to those people who had to flee, nobody realizes,” spokesperson Nathalie Eggen told Hyperallergic. “The drawings on the life jackets bear witness to their lives before the war, their lives before they had to put on a life jacket, and with that, the stigma ‘refugee.’ Regarding the naming of the project, we used ‘life jacket’ in a dual sense — we used the life jackets to show their life stories.”
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