Antarctica World Passport Courtesy of Frieze Projects and Studio Orta

A series of announcements reveal the role of UAL academics and arts research in international efforts to galvanise support for improved protection and assistance for the millions of people displaced globally every year by war, disasters and climate change – universally understood to be among the greatest humanitarian challenges of our times.

Oriana Baddeley, Dean of Research, UAL said:

“Creating a vital emotional connection with stories of human displacement, the art and design community is galvanising efforts to unite internationally in response to the global refugee crisis. Through our research and professional practice, UAL researchers are leading creative, people-centred approaches that aspire towards a fairer share of the world’s opportunities for the millions of people displaced around the globe.”

Migration Week, December 5-11 Marrakesh

Through the UAL research project DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys, UAL academics will highlight displacement related to natural hazards and climate at Migration Week (Marrakesh: December 5-11) and distribute a specially commissioned fifth edition of the renowned Antarctica World Passport, created by artist and UAL Professor Lucy Orta, Chair of Art and Environment and co-creator Jorge Orta. First printed in 2008, Antarctica World Passport is an internationally celebrated advocacy and social engagement tool that explores the underlying principles of the Antarctica Peace Treaty as a symbol of the unification of world citizens.

Film by Gorm Ashurst

The passports will be distributed during two major events taking place during Migration Week: 11th Global Forum on Migration and Development Summit (GFMD); and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM); where representatives from UN member states, international organisations, civil society organisations and other stakeholders will be looking at international strategies around migration and displaced peoples, including the landmark adoption of the new GCM – the first-ever UN global agreement on a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions. UAL’s Migration Week activity will accompany and amplify messaging from the international Platform on Disaster Displacement.

Lucy Orta said:

”I’m committed to finding ways for art practice to inspire social change and it’s a huge honour to be invited to the Global Forum on Migration and Development Summit. Art and design needs to be included in global discussions, at a government level, to help make a difference.”

Get involved

Share your thoughts and images on social media during Migration Week to help us build greater support and protection for the millions of people displaced by climate change and disaster. Find out more

Public lecture, 4 March 2018

As we continue to champion the role of the artistic community in addressing disaster displacement, on 4 March 2019 the University will open UAL’s 2019 Research Fortnight with a keynote lecture from preeminent Swiss humanitarian, international human rights lawyer and activist, Professor Walter Kaelin, Envoy, Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement. Professor Kaelin will be introduced by Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and UAL Chair of Governors, David Isaac CBE. Free and open to the public. Register  your place

First Za’atari artist in residence

Helen Storey, Professor of Fashion Science at London College of Fashion, UAL will be the first ever artist in residence at Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan for 2019, reflecting UNHCR and London College of Fashion’s long term commitment in supporting innovative, art and cultural livelihood projects in what is the largest refugee camp for Syrian refugees in the Middle East.

Helen will evolve her ‘Dress for our Time’ project which she founded in 2015. Helen and her team will continue to find collaborative ways to empower women and girls in camp through nurturing entrepreneurship, creativity and financial independence through the lens of fashion. Helen will be working with the UNHCR project Tiger Girls – These Inspiring Girls Enjoy Reading – which works on empowering refugee girls in the camp through coaching to pursue their education, enhance their creativity and community engagement.

Read more

DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys is a multi-year collaborative art project that cultivates artistic responses to disaster displacement. It supports the state-led Platform on Disaster Displacement through exhibitions that provide policymakers an opportunity to reflect upon and understand disaster displacement from a visual, experiential and emotional perspective. DISPLACEMENT hopes to create engaging spaces that inspire ideas that might not otherwise emerge around a conference table, and which keep the human story at the center of policy discussions. It also seeks to collaborate with artists from the most disaster-displacement-affected regions to share their work in policy discussions.

Walter Kaelin is professor emeritus for international and Swiss constitutional law, University of Bern/Switzerland and served as Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (2004-2010), as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee (2003-2008 / 2012-2014) and as Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Commission on the situation of human rights in Iraqi occupied Kuwait (1991/92).

Main image shows Antarctica World Passport Courtesy of Frieze Projects and Studio Orta