Saša Rajšić, Art Installation Technician | October 3, 2016
Once I heard a science fiction story in which Earth was facing its ultimate end and the only way for humans to survive was to migrate to the next habitable planet. To get there, people had to travel for a very long time. So long that six generations of new humans had to be born and had to die in this transition. They knew little about the planet their ancestors lived on and even less about the planet they were going towards. Their lives, one can argue, were sacrificed for the future of humankind.
For more than a million migrants and refugees who left their homes last year only and for thousands of those whose lives ended somewhere between their hometowns and the Old Continent, this story is, unfortunately, very relatable.
Andrej Nosov, Srđan Ćešić, and Jelena Graovac, three young artists, explore the tensions of migrant experiences. Their project titled 48 Hours of Awakens was presented with much success in Belgrade, Sarajevo, Berlin, and Paris in 2015 and 2016. During a period of 48 hours, a group of people, one person at the time, read personal testimonies and stories about the fates of refugees from antiquity to the present day Syria. This project, the artists claim, is both a reminder of the misfortune of those who have been forced to leave their homes and a call to the world to speak out for humanity, for solidarity, and for action.
The trio optimistically believes in a world in which the seemingly unsolvable problems of today will be solved. Once we get there, they remind us, we must not forget those who voyaged long and far into uncertainty. While the promise of a utopian world in which all problems will be solved seems more fitting for the realm of science fiction, I do agree that we need to better understand the experiences of those who are currently on their own long journey to the next habitable planet, wherever on Earth that might be.
For more information about 48 Hours of Awakens, please visit http://actionwakeup.net/.