Green light: An artistic workshop on the refugee crisis in Europe

The project helps refugees escaping persecution and war find acceptance and community.

From the Series

Olafur Eliasson and the TBA21 team have partnered to create Green light – An artistic workshop. The workshop looks at the current refugee crisis in Europe, and the people who are caught in the crossfire.

At the core of the project is Eliasson’s appreciation and value of light in our everyday lives. “It's more than just about illumination… I am constantly working to use light in a way that touches the world,” he says.

The Green Light project invites locals, university students, refugees and migrants to take part in what he calls a “shared learning experience,” where a dialogue and exchange is created through creativity.

Eliasson says, “Green light is an act of welcoming, addressed both to those who have fled hardship and instability in their home countries and to the residents of Vienna.”

The project calls its guests together to build a modular Green Light, designed by Eliasson. The stackable lights are made entirely from sustainable and recycled materials. The designer hopes to forge a new communal environment during the process of the workshop.

The project is set to take place over three months. The programme allows visitors to participate in the building of the Green light modules for two days of the week, and practical and German language courses on two other days.

“I hope Green light shines light on some of the challenges and responsibilities arising from the current refugee crisis in Europe and throughout the world,” says Eliasson.

TBA21 will be running another shared learning program of workshops, lectures, artistic performances and other events concurrently. The workshop is being held at TBA21-augarten in Vienna, from the 15March to 5June. Green light lanterns can also be purchased online in support of the refugees. All of the money collected from sales will contribute to the project and participating organisations, including the Red Cross Vienna, Caritas, Georg Danzer Haus and other similar initiatives throughout Austria.