Thesis Research #2

My idea for the installation comes from this picture I found.

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Credit: Osman Orsa/Reuters

At first I have totally no idea what is this. Then I found out it’s the phone case made from balloon that the street vendor sell to the refugees from Syria. What is this for? It’s for protecting their smartphone.

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Patrick Witty for TIME A cellphone protected by plastic. Lesbos, Greece.

The fact that this image is visually compelling and story rich makes me want to tell a story behind this object.

epaselect epa04910649 Migrants are charging their mobile phones at Keleti Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary, 03 September 2015. Hundreds of migrants rushed the platforms in Budapest after Hungarian police opened the city's Keleti station, which had been blocked to migrants since 01 September. Hungary's railway service said there were no trains headed to Western Europe for the time being. Thousands of refugee - many of whom have traveled from Africa and the Middle East in the hopes of reaching countries like Germany and Sweden - have been stranded at the station. EPA/HERBERT P. OCZERET

Migrants charging their mobile phones at Keleti Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary. (EPA/HERBERT P. OCZERET)

Then I started to really focus on the subject about how technology plays an important role for refugees. The large demanding for wi-fi and power shows that these new migrants is different from before. An I got inspired by the craziness in the picture that all the power cords tangling on the floor. It’s like their only connection that they need to hold on to. So I wanna include this in my installation.

I also found a very interesting article about a project by a photographer. They asked refugees for the stories behind their smartphone backgrounds.

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“This is my daughter. She’s still in Syria, but we talk every morning, evening and night.”

It’s so simple but it’s more then enough that we can totally understand how hard it is for them to leave their loved one. And our job here is to help them connect with each other.

The other finding is how active they are on social media like facebook, instagram and twitter.

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They takes selfie, they use WhatsApp, they post on facebook. Instead of knowing how important smartphone is, I felt they are just like us.

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Another article about a refugee posting a letter to Britain after finding a new home. After I read the whole letter, I was so happy for him that he got help and lead a normal life now.

“When I moved into this house and I was shown my room by the family who are hosting me in their own home, I was stunned and amazed by their attitude and the way they treated me. The hospitality and care which they showed to make me comfortable is something I don’t have words to describe. This was a tremendous relief and soothed my fears and worries.”

And I know there’s still something I can help. Even though it’s nothing, it could really change their lives. I want to pass this kind of feeling to participants, to share this happiness instead of  being sad, worried and suspicious about refugee crisis.

 

 

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