The Catalan NGO Open Arms has launched this summer together with the creative collective PutosModerns an awareness campaign against collective passivity of the society. “Don’t look the other way” is the motto with which the proactiva urges people who go to the beach to denounce the tragedies that happen daily in the Mediterranean and the “deliberate inaction of the European Union“.
The main focus of this campaign is social passivity in the face of the problem. The NGO affirms, according to data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), that the number of Dead people on the high seas is 24,305 since 2014. However, they warn that this figure is much higher since, according to the same source, the bodies of “at least two thirds of the people who disappear at sea cannot be recovered.”
The campaign aims raise public awareness about how the sea, which gives us moments of relaxation and enjoyment, is for some a deadly trap. The action being carried out by Open Arms and PutosModernos consists of pasting two different posters, one next to the other, in the vicinity of the Mediterranean beaches. One of them shows a tragic figure and next to that, there is a second poster in which, resorting to irony, the collective passivity in the face of the tragic fact is denounced. “Every 4 hours a person dies by drowning in the Mediterranean. can be read on a poster with a red background. Next to it, a white one says: “But here’s another sign in case you decide to look the other way.”
Along with these phrases, the posters contain a reference to 2 different web domains (available in Spanish, Catalan and Italian) that receive the viewer with one message or another depending on the URL entered.
Open Arms assures that its main mission is “to protect life and help people in danger in international waters who are fleeing from armed conflicts, persecution or poverty, but it is also to be a speaker of the injustices that happen there”. In addition, he affirms that the moment to launch this campaign is key because “there are few days left for our ships to return from humanitarian mission to the Mediterranean”.