“We did it. We walked during almost five hours in the European District in Brussels, wearing the symbolic orange life vests for the #OrangeVest performance by Georgia Lale.”
Can you imagine the strange situation…refugee artists “replaying” refugees for an art work in the crowded streets of Nuit Blanche Festival?
Bilal S G , Iraqi graffiti painter, uses the right words to describe this disturbing experience. "The performance of yesterday reminds us of too many things we experienced like how we felt tired, hungry, lost, thirsty, and without any hope to get somewhere. How we faced the troubles, how we survived to arrive to safe places.
We didn't care about death and what we would face. It was not that big of a deal, because if we stayed in our countries we were going to get killed, so we didn't have a choice. We should just escape and walk through the dark and mysterious road without care.
This experience really touched us from the deep within ourselves. The performance reminded us to keep moving and fighting for life and to reach our goals. It has taught us how strong we are. We passed the worst, so we can move and survive. That is life. No one can guess it. Everyday it teaches you new things and you must learn from it. Everyday is a new journey, be ready."
The artistic group: Refugees Got Talent
The last #OrangeVest action was performed the first day of October in Brussels, as part of the Nuit Blanche festival. The theme of the festival was “Borders”. The worked performed by locals and refugees that recently reached Europe in a desperate attempt to escape war and terrorism. Thirty performers walked around the European district and posed in front of the European Parliament, the Greek Embassy, and the European Commission; wearing black clothes and orange live vest in order to make a statement about refugees’ rights to a safer life, work opportunities, creative expression, and access to education.
The participating refugees were part of an art group called, “Refugees Got Talent.” Performing the #OrangeVest piece was not easy for them. Putting on the life vests brought up their own memories of their perilous trip crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Please do not forget what the refugees experience in order to protect their lives and families. Please open your schools and welcome refugee children. If they had left behind they would be dead already. They are dead if they are not getting proper education. Some of the greatest minds of humanity are hiding inside these refugee children. We must give them the opportunity to be the best they can be. These children, like all children, are humanity’s future.
Photos by Petros Lales
Visual Artist based in NYC