The Irish Refugee Council, together with TBWA\ Ireland, have launched a powerful banner-led campaign advocating for refugees this World Refugee Day, in response to the barriers that surround Dublin’s Grand Canal.

The message, which aims to foster empathy for refugees and tackle misinformation, was crafted out of the same tent materials that refugees are being forced to house themselves with, transforming the metal hoardings along the canal into a canvas, using just tents and tarps.

The banners were designed by Art Director and visual artist Vinicius Bustamante and placed on the barriers along the canal on Mespil Road. Via a QR-code on the banners, people are able to source unbiased facts and better understand the many dangerous barriers refugees overcome getting here in the first place.

“The fences and barriers in Dublin are a stark visual representation of the challenges refugees and people seeking protection face. This World Refugee Day, our message is clear: refugees don’t need more barriers. With this message, clearly conveyed on a banner made of tents, placed on a fence, we call on the Government to ensure people seeking protection are accommodated and supported, to fight and tackle disinformation and to show leadership against forces of hate and separation,” says Irish Refugee Council Chief Executive Officer, Nick Henderson.

Robert Boyle, Creative Director on the project, says, “With this activism we were speaking to the like-minded, silent-majority of people who are angry about the degradation of refugees in a country with one of the largest diaspora globally. We wanted to show them that their anger can be channelled positively through the actions of the Irish Refugee Council. It was important that the film used to promote the message online, embodied that anger with immigration punk anthem “Danny Nedelko” from Idles. And it was imperative that it was produced as sustainably as possible, crafting the message by reusing the tents and tarps as provided to and taken away from refugees in a seemingly unending cycle.”

“There being barriers facing refugees is nothing new, whether that be unsafe travel on small rafts across the Mediterranean or in the back of crowded trucks without sufficient oxygen, food or water, and so much more. What is new, though, is the growing numbers of barriers facing them at their destinations. Refugees simply don’t need more barriers, and neither does Dublin,” adds Donal Gaughran, Copywriter.

“Being based in Rathmines, near the canal, the tents and the barriers are right on our doorstep. It was impossible not to be affected by it. Witnessing how people who have come for refuge and an escape from persecution are being persecuted on our doorstep, we felt we needed to do something, to really point out that these people don’t need more barriers, they simply need our help. Partnering with ‘The Irish Refugee Council’ was the ideal client, as they’ve been helping refugees for 30 years in Ireland and also help empower others to do the same,” says Des Creedon, ECD at TBWA\ Ireland.

Bolt, TBWA\DUBLIN’s in-house production company, tells the campaign story through a 60” hero video, the music for which was provided by band IDLES with their pro-immigration track, ‘Danny Nedolko’.