Guest post by Refugee Rescue
Since 2015, images of boats arriving to Europe’s borders have largely faded from the media’s gaze. The world is no longer shocked or moved by stories of people who must risk their lives at sea to seek refuge. Those we traditionally rely on to respond – governments, policymakers, voters –have been numbed and paralyzed to a state of complicit indifference.
We must do better.
In a time when the world has turned its back on those fleeing at sea, Search and Rescue fills the gap left by our collective inaction. Until there is safe passage, and a sustainable asylum policy, Search and Rescue will continue to be a lifeline to survival.
Refugee Rescue are the last remaining search and rescue organisation working on the North Shore of Lesvos. For the last five years, our volunteer crew have worked tirelessly to ensure that more lives are not lost on what has become the most dangerous border in the world. From rescuing people abandoned at the foot of inaccessible cliffs, to intercepting fragile dinghies and guiding them to safe landing zones, to facilitating transfers with authority vessels, the skilled Refugee Rescue crew are ready to launch within minutes.
This year, for Refugee Week, we are inviting you to imagine how it feels to be involved in Search and Rescue at Sea, and then to see for yourself why it is still necessary, essential, and lifesaving.
This is not a new problem. For the last five years, artists have played a key role in interpreting the chaos and showing the world what is happening in Lesvos. We turn to them again now, to interpret what it really means to be involved in Search and Rescue. To amplify the stories of those involved.
Through the exhibit, you will experience first-hand that search and rescue is not simply a political act: it is a deeply personal, human and emotional task for both rescuee and rescuer. We hope you will take a moment to learn, challenge yourself, and stand in solidarity.
To view the exhibition head to our website throughout refugee week: http://www.refugeerescue.org/
We will also be running a campaign on social media campaign throughout the week to raise awareness of the need to stand in solidarity, and to not let fear of speaking out drive us to indifference. We hope you will join us.