#MovingPeople: Exploring the Worldwide Refugee Crisis


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 31, 2016) — The Syrian refugee crisis has dominated media coverage and is a microcosm of what is a larger issue worldwide. For the past few weeks, minature 3D printed figurines have dotted our campus, popping up on social media; but what do these figures have in common with the ongoing refugee crisis? On Tuesday, Nov. 1, that will all be explained.

That evening, the Student Activities Board (SAB) invites campus to the Bolivar Art Gallery to learn about and explore the heart-wrenching stories of these figurines who are modeled after and share the story of actual refugees. The collection of photos and 3D printed figures will be on display Nov. 1 through 11. The gallery will open with a reception at 6 p.m. and it will be followed by a #TrendingTopics discussion at 7 p.m.

The purpose of this is event is to spark a conversation between students, in a safe way, to bring about awareness and change. Through sharing the stories of individual refugees of varying ethnic and cultural backgrounds, all through 3D printed mini-figurines, SAB wants to help stop the stigma of the refugees being a “swarm” rather than individual stories and people.

“The '#MovingPeople' gallery reception will be a great opportunity for the student body of UK to learn more about the individual stories of the figurines installed all around campus," said Julia Nickle, the director of Cultural Arts. “Paired with the #TrendingTopics Syrian refugee lecture, the reception should leave the audience with a new perspective on just how varying the situations of refuge can be.”

The "#TrendingTopics: Refugee Crisis" discussion tackles the issue of the 6.6 million Syrian men, women and children internationally displaced from Syria due to its civil war. The conversation features Hazar Jaber, a dentist originally from Syria who does relief work for refugees, and Wai Wai Nu, an activist from Myanmar who also has firsthand experience working with refugees. At the end of the discussion there will also be a time for questions and answers.

“Our students will be able to form their own opinions from our guest’s firsthand accounts of the crisis," said Naija Omari, the director of SAB's Engaging Issues Committee. “This is especially great because our students may not otherwise get this opportunity from the possible bias of everyday news.”

SAB brings more than 60 entertaining, educational and enriching programs that are reflective of contemporary issues and trends to the University of Kentucky annually. These programs are designed to enhance the college experience for students, faculty, staff and the greater Lexington community. Connect with SAB at www.uksab.org, follow them on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UKSAB, or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UKSAB/. For more information about SAB and events, email publicrelations@uksab.org.