Motion Detector No. 18: Protest and Solidarity

Museum Europäischer Kulturen

In the Motion Detector series the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (MEK, Museum of European Cultures) shows objects from its collection and loans relating to current topics. The 18th Motion Detector deals with #leavenoonebehind, a solidarity movement for refugees. The exhibition was created in collaboration with the Berlin University of Applied Sciences (HTW Berlin) Master’s programme in Museum Management and Communications and highlights protest movements against the inhumane housing of refugees in camps on the edges of Europe. Motion Detector 18 can be viewed in the lobby of the MEK until the end of October 2021.

The hashtag #leavenoonebehind has been appearing increasingly on social media since the beginning of 2020. Numerous aid organisations and private individuals use it to call for the immediate evacuation of overcrowded refugee camps and the legalisation of sea rescue in the Mediterranean.

Protests Following the Fire in Moria

Refugees were housed in inhumane conditions at the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. The spread of the coronavirus pandemic made the situation even worse. On the evening of 8 September 2020, the camp burned to the ground. This moved the aid organisation Seebrücke e. V. to call for Europe-wide protests to take place on 20 September 2020. In Berlin, too, more than 11,000 people came together to campaign for European solidarity with refugees under the slogan “We Have Space!”

Student Project on Solidarity Movements

This instalment of Motion Detector was designed by students in the Museum Management and Communication Master’s programme at the HTW Berlin. They spent a year studying protests occurring in Berlin, international movements throughout Europe, and global environmental and climate change mitigation demonstrations. The coronavirus pandemic had a major impact on the project. The findings have now been published in a digital exhibition and the analogue content can finally be presented after some delay. Although the refugees’ current situation is covered less frequently in the media, the problems remain.