If you had to leave your home and flee for your life, what would you take with you? Maria Belivani invites onlookers to consider this question for themselves and write their answers on an interactive art installation in Athens’s Technohoros gallery. Through asking this simple question, Belivani inspires a moment of solidarity and empathy, in which viewers mentally place themselves in the position of a refugee. People write on the installation answers like Money, My Family, and My Passport. Belivani’s show also includes watercolor paintings that incorporate burned travel documents, letters, and keys. Her work clearly conveys the pain of uprooting one’s entire life to travel to an unknown place.
At the opening of this exhibition last night, UNHCR representatives asked attendees to sign a petition for World Refugee Day declaring that they are #WithRefugees. U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Barbara Hendricks also attended the event and spoke with two refugee families who attended. One of the refugee women at the event conveyed her enormous thanks for the solidarity and empathy of the Greek people. I was honored to meet some of the people who have been working tirelessly and compassionately to resettle refugees in Greece, and I am glad for another powerful call to look at the individual humans whose families and livelihoods are at stake in this crisis.