Latymerians take part in H&F Refugee Week finale

Our Lower Sixth student, Giulia Pesciarelli, has been asked to contribute her stunning art installation to Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Refugee Week finale at the Lyric Theatre on Friday 21st June. Here she explains the background to her work:

In early January I volunteered at Care4Calais, a volunteer run charity delivering essential aid and support to refugees living in the worst conditions across Northern France and Belgium. 

During my stay in Calais I met lots of wonderful people in the refugee camps we visited who each deeply moved me with stories of their past, their dangerous journeys to Calais and their hopes and dreams for the future. Seeing the awful living conditions in the camps, and even experiencing just for a couple hours, the piercing temperatures that these people survive in for months or even years really touched me.

 I decided I wanted to dedicate my next art project to raising awareness on the heartbreaking issue that is the migrant crisis, as more and more refugees are being dehumanised, criminalised or even losing their lives every day. 

More needs to be done to help them.

When I first started researching for my project in late February, there had already been 217 migrant deaths in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year. Therefore I made 217 origami boats as a tribute to them, and placed them in a pool. The gold flakes on each boat symbolise the unattainable life of luxury and safety that refugees see in places such as the UK, and each candle honours a lost life. Candles are also a symbol of hope and something which really inspired me throughout various conversations with the refugees I met, was their perseverance and constant hope that they hold onto. However my video eventually shows the candles going out and the paper boats sinking as they fill up with water, signifying how dangerous or in many cases fatal these journeys are.

In the soundtrack of my video you can hear Daniel, a refugee from Eritrea telling his story. This audio clip was provided to me by photographer Russell Whitehead, who I was directed to by Clare Moseley, the founder of Care4Calais.

I hope you enjoy my video, and that you are as moved by Daniel’s story as I was.

 

As well as this our year 10 student, Charlotte Bouvier, will be recounting the story of her grandparents who were refugees from the Middle East and Europe during the second world war.

You can find full details of the event here.

These photos give a preview of Giulia’s installation: 

 

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