Art And Culture

Samos Exhibition on Europe’s Refugee Crisis

Samos Exhibition on Europe’s Refugee CrisisSamos Exhibition on Europe’s Refugee Crisis

An exhibition focusing on the refugee crisis is due to open next month on the island of Samos, a Greek island near the Turkish coast that has been at the heart of the humanitarian tragedy engulfing Europe.

The show, A World Not Ours (August 5- October 15), is backed by the Schwarz Foundation, a private organization founded by the German doctor Kurt Schwarz. It will be held in a venue operated by the foundation called Art Space Pythagorion, which is based in the ancient harbor town of Samos, reported.

The exhibition's curator Katerina Gregos, the curator of the Belgian pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale, says in a statement that “given the highly charged location, it is vital that an exhibition here should address this situation, which has been an unremitting reality on the island, and a pressing, unresolved issue for the whole of Europe”.

Ten artists, photographers, film-makers and activists offer different reactions and analyses on the subject, which they have been engaging with long-term, she adds. They include the Dubai-born, Palestinian film-maker Mahdi Fleifel and the Lebanese artist Ninar Esber who will present her performance piece, The Blind Lighthouse and the installation Torso#2 (2016).

  Seeing Before and After

Gregos says that the works will provide deeper insights into the plight of the refugees fleeing from war-torn countries such as Syria. “The participants in the exhibition largely transcend one-sided and standardized media representations of the crisis—mostly consisting of rickety boats and images related to the perilous sea crossing—and look into the before and after [of] this dramatic moment.”

The Greek photojournalist Yannis Behrakis, will show photographs of refugees trying to cross the border between Greece and Macedonia near the Greek village of Idomeni. His images show refugees, who are soaked after sleeping outside during a storm, begging Macedonian policemen to let them through. Gregos says that she hopes to incite compassion in the viewer. “What is needed, ultimately, is empathy, the ability to consider the question: ‘What if this were me? How would I react then?'”

Millions of people have fled to Europe from war-torn Syria since March 2011, which according to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, and Iraq, where the government is fighting ISIS military attacks since 2014.