Amnesty International has declared that there are 19.5M refugees worldwide. The staggering figure is a constant undertone in the news. However, with so much devastation, creativity can go unnoticed. At a time when much of the rhetoric and narrative surrounding refugees is negative, a positive story deserves a light shone on it. Let me introduce the rainbow of hope created by ‘Jeans For Refugees’.
‘Jeans For Refugees’ is a Johny Dar global art project and fundraising initiative. This project dedicates itself to helping refugees around the world through the art of collaboration.
One hundred celebrities are participating by donating a pair of their jeans to be painted by artist and designer Johny Dar. Amongst those who have penned their name to the cause are Kate Moss, Harry Styles, Emma Watson, Alicia Vikander, Ryan Gosling and Anna Wintour. The hand painted artwork by Dar looks to reflect the individual personalities of each donor, adding more depth to this artistic fundraising project.
On 1st July, the first 30 pairs of painted jeans were showcased at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Berlin, allowing audiences to experience Dar’s artistic innovation live on the runway. The showcase goes beyond Berlin, with plans for a special art performance and art workshop for refugees to be held in the Calais Jungle, and preview exhibits featuring some of the painted jeans, helping to spread the word of creativity for peace. Each pair of jeans will be available for everyone around the world to bid on as they are auctioned exclusively though specialist online auctioneers Catawiki (catawiki.com). This online auction will run until the end of October with all proceeds raised donated to the International Rescue Committee. All one hundred ‘Jeans for Refugees’ will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery for a week prior to the closing of the auction.
“This started as a humble dream of wanting to make a difference through what I can do, on a personal level, which is painting those jeans – and the rest was only possible through the generous souls that have contributed to this project. I am honoured and humbled to be part of this, with all you beautiful beings. I would love to mention everyone by name who has helped to bring this all together but we would need a small newspaper for that, and you know who you are… thank you with all my heart. Thanks also to everyone who is here, supporting the project with their presence: Your support really means the world, and means a lot to the world, because by coming together for a common cause, great change is possible”- Johny Dar
‘Jeans For Refugees’ is a fantastic initiative creating art for change in the current refugee crisis. This project has created a step-change in the way private, public and not-for-profit sectors organise themselves, and should be held as an inspiration for others to follow. With the project already developing into something so much larger than originally planned, I’d urge you to keep a watchful eye of ‘Jeans For Refugees’.
For more information on the project check out: