Giving refugees a voice


“Alex,” a miniature figurine from the #MovingPeople street art project that was modeled after a real Ugandan refugee of the same name, sits near the entrance of the School of Arts and Visual Studies Building at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. The Student Activities Board is featuring a #MovingPeople exhibit November 1-11 at the Bolivar Art Gallery. Photo by Joshua Qualls | Staff

Samantha Robinson

There are refugees spread to every corner of our world, but their stories and personal lives often go untold. 

The Moving People project was started in Amsterdam by Power of Art House and has spread country to country. They aim to tell the stories of the refugees to show them as individual people who are suffering. 

The project tells 10 stories of 10 refugees. These people modeled for a mini figure of themselves that are then placed around cities. Here at UK they have been placed on items such as benches and walls. 

The figures show the movement of the refugees while telling their stories. Each figure has a sticker on it with the Moving People website where the stories are located. 

This project allows the refugees to have a voice and also employs the public to share and learn the stories of the refugees. 

“The small figures are meant to move, to literally travel through the city. We show the human stories behind the overwhelming news footage and so-called ‘swarms of refugees’,” according to the Moving People website. 

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The figures are meant to be moved and shared by everyone in as many countries, cities and locations as possible. The people behind the project encourage people who find the small figures to move them to a new location for others to find. 

The Moving People project is on display around the UK campus and will be exhibited in a gallery showing from Nov. 1-11 at the School of Arts and Visual Studies art gallery. The exhibition will be located in the hallway next to the main art gallery inside the School of Visual Art and Media building.

There will also be a gallery reception on Nov. 1 in the main lobby of the SAV building on Bolivar Street at 6 P.M. 

The exhibition will show the small figures with text about the project and figures. The figures are all hand made and painted with environmentally friendly materials. 

The Moving People project encourages people to not only move the figures but to also take photos of them with the hashtag #MovingPeople to share the stories of the refugees. 

This project brings an opportunity to learn about a global crisis to the UK Campus and it’s also a great opportunity for students and faculty to take part in global engagement.