Icy & Sot: Giving Plants and New Life to Refugees in Greece

Street Art brothers Icy and Sot once again lead by example with their latest act of artivism at a refugee camp in Greece.

Icy & Sot. Giving Flowers. Lesbos Greece. June 2019. (photo © Icy & Sot)

People chased from their homes by wars in places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are now part of a larger conversation in Europe as countries struggle to accept the massive numbers of refugees in the last decade. On the Greek island of Lesbos, the overcrowding of a camp named Moria has produced Olive Grove, a temporary place full of tents, but little nature.

Icy & Sot. Giving Flowers. Lesbos Greece. June 2019. (photo © Icy & Sot)

With a goal of softening the hardship for people living here, Icy and Sot raised money through a print sale online and with the proceeds purchased fresh flowering plants to give away. “It was wonderful to see that actually put a smile on peoples’ faces for a moment,” they say in a press release.

Icy & Sot. Giving Flowers. Lesbos Greece. June 2019. (photo © Icy & Sot)

While they have traveled around many international cities in the last five years creating site-specific interventions that contemplate issues of immigration, environmental degradation, and endangered species, the artists felt that the gravity of this place merited something more than just an art installation.

Working with a group called Movement on the Ground and with Doug Gillen of Fifth Wall TV in tow, the two helped build raised gardens and planted vegetables, in addition to handing out many potted plants. Today we have images of persons in the camp from Icy & Sot along with the new video, one of Doug’s best.

Icy & Sot. Giving Flowers. Lesbos Greece. June 2019. (photo © Icy & Sot)

It’s a simple act full of symbolism and invokes the power of the natural world in healing our many wounds. “We know this project didn’t really change anything for those people,” the say, “They come to Europe to be far from the dangers of war, far from hearing bomb explosions, for a better future for their kids. They have had an exhausting journey and they deserve better. They deserve our support.”

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