Etnia Barcelona

Open Eyes

Words Editorial Staff


Etnia Barcelona Foundation and Open Arms present Open Eyes, the first eyewear collection that saves lives

Etnia Barcelona’s humanitarian project joins forces with the non-governmental organisation Open Arms in a unique collaborative venture to give voice to, and tell the story of, the generous, courageous work that Open Arms is engaged in and the lives it is saving. An alliance that came about naturally, between two projects that not only share the same city, but also the same values, purpose and, above all, the same goal: to make the world a better place.

Open Eyes is public-spirited collection that comprises a single model of glasses, based on an icon of the Barcelona brand, its mythical Avinyo? model. Top quality eyewear, just brimming over with details: round, oversized, in red, biodegradable acetate with unsprung hinges and blue polarised Barberini mineral lenses, to offer your eyes maximum protection, even on the high seas.

The frames have wings on the sides, emulating the way we tend to shade our eyes with our hands to help us focus better and see the horizon. The form of the terminal tips is inspired by the prow of the Open Arms rescue ship. The glasses come with a neoprene cord as an accessory. The “Open Eyes” campaign starts with a five day trip to the Malakasa and Ritsona Refugee Camps, just outside Athens, in Greece.

Migration is a human right and as such should be protected, as should all the organisations that strive to help people seeking a better life for themselves and their loved ones. With the darkness of their journey and the limbo of the refugee camps the project appears like a ray of light, projecting the voices of survivors Fadia, Emram and Weis across the Mediterranean, with their message of aid and hope: we too are human beings.

Entering the refugee camps, looking people in the eyes, learning of their generosity, and working together with them to build a new space for reflection and debate is the beginning of a long journey: to open peoples’ eyes to the huge issue of the migratory crisis. But, as always, a crisis offers opportunities, and the Etnia Barcelona Foundation, together with Open Arms and the Public Protest Poster research team, is attempting with its glasses to draw peoples’ attention to the reality of the situation, building bridges and opening eyes and arms...

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