This project reveals the stories behind an object, a smartphone inside a balloon, which is the symbol for a refugee’s smartphone. It’s my journey to reach, talk to and understand life of the refugees. I chose to create a fictional name ‘Hudea’ for the refugees I met because their real names, combined with other information, could risk revealing their real identities and cause trouble. I embody my conflict and emotion during the project and make them tangible as a sculpture. I want to bring together the refugees and non-refugees, to help understand the refugees are just like everybody else; to connect and rebuild communities, raise awareness and create conversation.
Christina Xenides: Refugee Lawyer
Jack: Syrian refugee who works in Unicef
Anonymous: Syrian refugee in Germany
Anonymous: Syrian refugee in Switzerland
NEXT STEP: The Social Campaign
I’ll be installing the sculpture of a refugee hand holding a smartphone on the street, in random corners which will become the hub for people to connect with refugees on their phones and also understand how important smartphone is for refugees. Each installation will be given an unique number which enables participants to send text message and get the responses of the stories explaining the images showing in the screens. They will also be asked to make small donation, unused mobile data, talktime and SMS through their phones with the collaboration of local carrier.
I want to demonstrate that smartphone can help the communities to connect/understand refugees, and also help refugees to connect with their families.