Forced to Flee

Life Jacket Graveyard of Lesvos       Karin Tauber  •  Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

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Life Jacket Graveyard of Lesvos

NFS 62 x 46 inches | 2018

Lesvos, a small Greek island, is home to the “Mountain of Misery” made from thousands of life jackets and rubber dinghies discarded by refugees crossing the Aegean Sea for Europe.

Smugglers squeeze 60 people onto boats built to hold a dozen for a journey that can take a few hours... or days. Drownings in the azure waters are too often the reality; many life jackets are fake, filled with sponges. This piece includes fabric from discarded life jackets. Despite being washed, the material retains a very distinctive smell - a mixture of fear, worry, panic, stress, diarrhea, saltwater, sweat, and tears.

Audio Statement available

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