I have a memory of Life Jackets from my time in “videregående” (high school). I had a course called “Art, Design and Architecture” (translated) where we talked about art happening right now and taking inspiration or giving it thoughts so we would reflect on its meaning. I think this was one of those artistic statements we talked about in 2017. Then I did not give it any thought on where the life jackets were from, only that it was from many individuals. I remember new about the crisis and videos from small boats with an insanely amount of people in/on it. I know I saw reporters on the beaches, and we talked about how they were just standing there and reporting a problem without doing anything. I was a teenager and did not see the crisis as my problem to solve but was upset because so many was talking about it and I did not see any action being done. I google the Life Jackets by Ai Wei Wei to place it in time and it was in February 2017 in Berlin. The life jackets was collected at Lesvos in 2016.
I read this page: https://lesvosatlas.net/life-jackets/
I have not seen the peace sign before but with a quick google search I found out what and where it was. It was 3000 life jackets made into the peace sign to give hope. The article also told me about how many people who died trying to get to Lesvos. Back then the number was 3700 people, and when that peace sign makes 3000 it is almost impossible to imagine the losses. Many has survived but reading and watching the new back then was terrible. I was important of course but as a teenager it was sad and unrealistic to watch something happening a few hours away on a plane. In
I do not know Lesvos, but I have been to Greece in 2009, I think. That time I was a family holyday on Crete. I was 11 years and I only remember “jamas” (how I remember that we) pronounce it which is cheers. That trip was very calming and we saw the usual tourist sites, so I imagine this trip will be the opposite in so many ways.
Featured image: Tomine E. Dalene. Picture of one of the prodjects at Tangen Vgs. This was made in 2017 and is still by the entrance of Tangen vgs.