Artists’ Container Portals Link Global Voices


Two artists from the US have used shipping containers to create ‘portals’ that are allowing people to reach out to refugees all over the world and hear their stories using immersive audio/visual technology, according to Forbes

With the Syrian refugee crisis still affecting people globally, Amar Bakshi from Yale Law and Michelle Moghtader, a multimedia journalist, hope to help people relate more to the everyday lives and struggles of refugees.

This is not the first time unused containers have become a canvas for art, in India earlier this year a craze began to surface of turning containers into both studios and huge works of art.

Already in action in over 20 cities all over the world from New York to Afghanistan, the latest container portals were revealed on June 20, 2016 – World Refugee Day – as part of the “Refugees” exhibit running until autumn 2016 at the United Nations.

In 2015 it was estimated that over a million refugees reached Europe by sea, with a high number of deaths by drowning as a result.

Ports and shipping companies have subsequently have been increasing their surveillance and security over the last 18 months to prevent dangerous and illegal travel by refugees using containers and merchant ships.

Read: 3 Ways to Tackle Piracy and Terrorism

The use of merchant ships by refugees and illegal migrants to cross seas is not a recent phenomenon, especially in Europe. 

However, with the Syrian civil war still raging and military intervention by the international community increasing in the Middle East, it is safe to say the issues facing the international maritime and merchant shipping sectors in the region will be affected. 

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