IN APRIL OF 2016, THE TURNER PRIZE COMMITTEE BESTOWED THE COVETED CONTEMPORARY ART AWARD TO ALL THE SYRIAN REFUGEES WHO'VE LEFT THEIR WAR-TORN COUNTRY.
This is the first time the prize has been given early, and the first time it will be divided among 4.6 million people, which is the total number of Syrian refugees in the world at this time.
"WE THINK IT IS THE RIGHT GESTURE AND CAPTURES THE SPIRIT OF OUR AGE," SAYS ALEX FARQUAHARSON, DIRECTOR AT THE TATE BRITAIN AND MEMBER OF THE TURNER PRIZE COMMITTEE. "THEY ARE THE HIDDEN LABOR OF SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ART HAPPENING TODAY."
OLAFUR ELIASSON'S "GREEN LIGHT"
"Green Light" was conceived by Eliasson as a metaphorical green light for refugees and migrants in Austria and beyond. The project testifies to the agency of contemporary art and its potential to initiate processes of civic transformation. The sustainable LED lamp was been produced in a collaborative three-month artistic workshop by refugees and visitors at TBA21–Augarten in Vienna.
Ai collaborated with photographer Rohit Chawla from India Today to recreate the now-famous image of Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian toddler who drowned off the coast of Turkey.
Ten students at London’s Royal College of Art have designed what they call a Syrian Refugee Wearable Shelter. It’s a coat that easily transforms into a sleeping bag or a tent. Made of lightweight, waterproof Tyvek with an insulating Mylar lining, the coat’s materials are affordable enough to make it freely distributable to refugees once it is mass produced.
An art exhibit of political cartoons, news photos, documentary footage and children’s drawings designed to raise awareness about the revolts in Syria and the power of social media during human rights crises. This exhibit was held at Columbia University's Knox Hall.
These postcards will be on view at the British Red Cross headquarters in London and then auctioned online to raise funds for the Syria Crisis Appeal, which supports relief work in Syria and surrounding countries.
Held at Columbia University's Knox Hall, the cartoon above features Syrian president Bashar al-Assad depicted as a Nazi octopus.