Textile Touches of Escape and Migration

How can I participate in the project?

How | general rules of participation

Inspirations Intersections Investigations

Invitation to the “LIFE VEST” collection



Condition of the garment

  • Any submitted garment must be robust enough to be put on and taken off by visitors.
  • Each garment requires a sewn label providing information about the producer (name, origin, profession, age, gender, title of the artwork).
  • Where necessary, instructions on how the garment should be worn, and whether assistance is needed to do so, should be provided.

On the performances

  • Performance proposals can be submitted in any form desired, but must be clearly explained. Please submit a CV for all participants.

On poetry

  • The poetry does not need to take any specific form. The sole requirement is that a person-friendly approach should be taken. Poems that are racist or xenophobic in nature, or negative in tone, will not be accepted.

What should be submitted
1. The artistic work
2. The complete form (see “Forms/Downloads“)
3. Packaging with sufficient postage, if return is desired

Form (see file for download)


On escape / migration

  • How can I express escape in textile form?
  • How can I convey my emotions through a garment?
  • What traces does escape leave behind?
  • What textiles recount (my) departure or (my) change?
  • What shape can content take on in exploring the theme of escape?
  • What silhouette does migration assume?
  • What color is escape? Which color stands for which feeling or experience related to escape?
  • Which textiles do refugees receive from aid organizations? / What textiles have I received? To what extent were you helped? / To what extent was I helped?
  • What exactly touches me emotionally here? What have I personally experienced?

On integration

  • Which emotions arise in me during encounters with people dressed differently than myself?
  • What expectations and desires do I have for others, and what interest in those others is triggered through their clothing?
  • What do I expect from myself in this context? What expectations do I have in my handling of my own thoughts and emotions?
  • Which shape, color and feel of a textile garment would reflect successful integration? How about unsuccessful integration?


Because I receive an endless supply of office shirts at no cost, I began wondering what I could do with them. One woman in Moria explained to me that black clothes are particularly helpful while fleeing to safety, since you can hide better by night. The form was intended to depict a life vest, the quintessential symbol of flight over the Mediterranean Sea. I colored the shirts black, so that the fabric could serve as the starting point for vests. Because I used a plant-based dye, the result was more purple than black. As it happens, purple as a symbolic color for transformation proved an even more appropriate theatrical statement for this project. Seamstress Inessa Reifschneider sewed an initial version of the vest to serve as a prototype.

Those interested in taking part in serial production of purple life vests are invited to bring dyed, pre-worn office shirts to the studio. You are naturally welcome to perform the dyeing yourself (please use only plant-based dyes). Experience dictates that used shirts can be found in any second-hand store.