FORMER BEGF SCHOLARS
Georgia Lale BEGF scholar 2014-2015, in Sculpture.
What is #OrangeVest? #OrangeVest is a visual arts event, a performance that takes place in the public and internet sphere. The #OrangeVest performance takes place in New York, where I live, and its aim is to sensitise local and global public opinion about the refugee crisis happening in Europe over the past months. The work’s visual language is influenced by the refugees’ journey from the coast of Turkey towards the Greek islands. The performance is made up of a group of people, dressed in black - in memory of those who died and are still losing their lives on a daily basis as they attempt to cross the Aegean Sea. Over their clothes they wear an orange life vest which is the object that, above all, characterises this refugee crisis. An object that symbolises the hope for life and survival. We walk as a group through various busy public spaces (Metropolitan Museum of Arts, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, United Nations) without speaking, without carrying banners, we don’t hand out leaflets, we are simply there. We are there to remind passers-by, New York’s tourists and citizens of what is happening on the other side of the Atlantic. #OrangeVest coexists between the public and internet space. Via Social Media the action meets a new audience, a global community that is informed, sensitised and becomes socially aware via the internet. Using popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, I created an information and action ground relating to the refugee crisis. Via these social media and the use of the HashTag (#), every internet user can find out about the latest developments on the refugee crisis in the Aegean and Europe via articles from trusted media sources (New York Times, The Guardian, The Huffington Post) and follow the #OrangeVest actions.
Published on Jan 12, 2016