"Som Lesbos" and the refugee crisis

Prototip SomLesbos
Prototip de SomLesbos

The lifejackets of refugees accumulating on the Greek island of Lesbos are the protagonists of the "Som Lesbos" exhibition, on display at the Library of Humanities until 31 January. Students from the degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology and from the design school Massana participated in this innovative and thought-provoking project. 


Fourth-year students from the degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the UAB inaugurated on 17 December an exhibition entitled “Som Lesbos” at the Library of Humanities. The exhibition was organised with the collaboration of the Department of Anthropology and the Massana School of Design, a UAB-affiliated centre. 

This innovative project which can be visited until 31 January presents 22 prototypes industrial modelling students from the Massana school sent in to the competition: “Què en fem, d’una?... i de moltes?”, organised by the International Cooperation Unit of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) with the aim of finding a second purpose for the lifejackets used by refugees and accumulating on the beaches of the island of Lesbos in Greece. Thanks to the designs, the exhibition aims to offer a critical view on the role of Europe in what is known as the “refugee crisis”.

The project “Som Lesbos” also organised several related activities in December and January, the last of which be held on 14 January: the projection of the documentary Los muros del agua at 11 a.m. at the Cinema Hall.

Som Lesbos Blog
Som Lesbos is a collaborative project between the students of the degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology and the Massana School of Design in Barcelona. It was created firstly to share the projects students had worked on in designing prototypes for the reuse of life jackets found on the beaches of Lesbos as part of a competition organised by the AMB.

After all proposals were submitted, the winning prototype was a lifejacket keychain, created with the double intention of raising awareness and raising money to help refugees. The students who designed the keychains were Roger Vendrell and Alvaro Insenser, who explained that "our main goal was to raise awareness of the issue: make the problem known. That is why we designed a lifejacket with a note on it, where refugees could tell their story and give a second meaning to the life jackets".

The project also aims to bring the subject of refugees closer to the public, with first-hand accounts of the experiences of both refugees and volunteers. The blog was created to offer information about the exhibition and all related activities.


More information: SomLesbos


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