Odyssey by Marc Quinn

Being part of the human family is to recognise the need for equality, basic dignity, inalienable rights, freedom of speech and belief for all human beings.  According to the recent UNHCR report, there are about 68.5 million people forcibly displaced and fundamental aspects of life stolen from them. The cruelty does not end in displacement but to be rejected, unloved, unwelcomed and fear the intolerance.

Odyssey, the latest artwork project by British artist, Marc Quinn,  is the response to the “Us vs Them” mentality. The project involves blood donated by more than 5,000 people, with half of these volunteers being refugees and celebrities to bring awareness to the global refugee crises and to raise millions of dollars for people affected by this humanitarian tragedy.

“To me, the refugee crisis is one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies we have ever seen. I feel compelled to make an artwork about it and, by doing so, help the people involved”.  — Marc Quinn

Two identical, metric-ton cubes of frozen human blood, one by refugees and one by non-refugees, represent the belief that, under the skin, we are all the same.  It will be opening in late 2019 on the steps of the New York Public Library.  The not-for-profit work intends to shine a spotlight on the refugee crisis while raising $30m (£23m) for charities working to alleviate it such as the International Rescue Committee (one of the world’s largest refugee-focused NGOs), with the rest distributed to a group of further refugee organisations and programmes.

Partnered with Norman Foster, to design the pavilion and the contributors range from refugees to non-refugees, to celebrities, to scientists, historians to humanitarians including prominent refugees Angok Mayen and George Okeny, as well as others including Sting, David Miliband, Jude Law, Bono, Anna Wintour, Kate Moss.



Featured image courtesy of Sarah Lee for the Guardian

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