Fifteen European cities will on Saturday be displaying portraits of men, women and children at the makeshift migrant camp on Lesvos that has served as home to thousands of people since the Moria facility burned down last year, it was announced on Wednesday.
Titled “Europe Look Me in the Eyes,” the project was started by human rights activists on the Greek island and seeks to “put pressure on European governments to finally take concrete action, make decisions and implement policies that are of real benefit to refugees.”
The 155 portraits have been assembled into a huge collage that will be exhibited at iconic locations in the host cities, thanks to Inside Out, a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work, spearheaded by the French artist JR, recipient of the 2011 TED Prize.
“Seeking protection and asylum in Europe is made even more difficult because of countries delegating control of their borders to third countries like Turkey, Libya, and Morocco. Europe and the rest of the world cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this humanitarian crisis, nor attempt to relieve themselves of responsibility through providing those countries with charitable contributions,” says Villy Tentoma, the coordinator of the actions in Europe and the group leader in Lesvos.