As celebs strut the red Oscar carpet, awash in Hollywood glitz and glamor, some will sport a more subtle accessory: blue ribbons, showing their solidarity with the world’s refugee population.
The participating nominees and participants support the UN Refugee Agency(Opens in a new tab) (UNHCR) is #With refugees(Opens in a new tab) campaign, a coalition(Opens in a new tab) from universities, foundations, religious organizations, youth groups, companies and non-governmental organizations that help refugees and asylum seekers and call for international support for those who have to flee their homes.
“Wearing the blue #WithRefugees ribbon on the red carpet sends a powerful visual message that everyone has the right to seek safety – whoever, wherever and whenever they are,” UNHCR wrote in a press release.
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Each strap was handcrafted by a team at Knotty Tie Co.(Opens in a new tab)a US clothing company that supports refugees(Opens in a new tab) relocated to the Denver, Colorado area through employment, education and training.
Big names, like Best Actress nominee Cate Blanchett, have joined the global movement during awards season(Opens in a new tab). “What I love about the film is the way it draws us into compelling human issues to uncover the connective tissue that binds us all,” she wrote in a statement to press. “Whenever I’ve met refugees – in places like Lebanon, Jordan or Bangladesh, in the UK or back home in Australia – what struck me was not their ‘otherness’, but how many things we have in common.”
Other actors, like triangle of sadness‘ Dolly De Leon also expressed his support from the film industry. “At a time when so many people in the world are suffering, it shouldn’t be a big request to show a little kindness and compassion to those around us,” she wrote.
The news is timely a year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine Millions of refugees sent around the world and more than 103 million forcibly displaced people(Opens in a new tab) Searching for help.
At the intersection of film and activism, Many of this year’s nominated films share common themes(Opens in a new tab) of trauma, loss and displacement, including an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary A house of splinters, which tells the story of an orphanage in eastern Ukraine. Santiago Miter, the mastermind behind the Best International Feature Film nomination Argentina, 1985and Edward Berger, director nominee for Best Picture nothing new in the Westwere among those who pledged their support through the blue ribbons.
They are all joined by activist and UNHCR Goodwill Envoy Yusra Mardini, whose story of fleeing her homeland during the Syrian civil war is portrayed in the BAFTA-nominated Netflix film the swimmers. Mardini became a member of the first Refugee Olympic Athletes Team. Her older sister, human rights activist Sara Mardini, was arrested by Greek officials in 2018 for helping migrant rescue efforts in the Mediterranean.
“As a former refugee, it is truly incredible to see so many artists wearing a blue ribbon tonight in solidarity with refugees and displaced people around the world,” wrote the younger Mardini. “My people – and so many others – are hurt. They need our support. We all need peace.”