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Pam Longobardi

Artist Statement Submitted 2017

In 2006, discovering mountainous piles of plastic debris the ocean deposited on remote Hawaiian shores, I began collecting ocean plastic as my primary material, removing thousands of pounds from the natural environment, to reposition the objects back into culture for examination. I created Drifters Project, an artistic research project focused on the Global South, to address the forensics of the floating plastic object and its role as the place-marker of the Anthropocene.
My recent work is in Lesvos, Greece, the small Aegean island nearest Turkey where over 600,000 refugees have landed. This massive migration is the next wave of ocean plastic disaster: thousands of plastic lifevests, rafts, flotation devices wash ashore ferrying displaced refugees. Continuing my socially engaged practice, I work with refugees + Greek citizens transforming the discarded plastic waste of life vests into iconic symbols of flags for the new nation of refugees, portable signals of transformation and hope.

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