The fashion of migration: Bosnian migrants make clothing label

December 23

December 23, 2021

On Thursday, a fashion show called The story about us took place in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on the occasion of the International Day of Migrants and the 70th anniversary of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It fits perfectly with this year’s theme for December 18 – harnessing the potential of human mobility – as people on the go have been involved in the creation of the new brand No national fashion (NNF). They designed and sewed the clothes and modeled the clothes in the show.

IOM and the European Union have launched sewing corners inside three migrant camps (Blažuj, Ušivak and Miral). Initially, they were supposed to make reusable masks for the pandemic, but they soon became fashion studios. Local artists, stylists and textile companies quickly came together, so creativity just exploded.

“This type of cooperation can benefit both migrants and the host society,” said Laura Lungarotti, head of the IOM in Bosnia, speaking at the ceremony. “Migration is a phenomenon, not a problem. We hope that such an event will change the narrative bit by bit, especially the negative narrative about migration.”

Among the clothes produced in the last six months, about 40 most representative pieces of the project were selected for the first show. The new fashion label was officially presented at the gala show at the town hall.

“The plan is to expand the NNF project and create fashion corners in all temporary reception centers, explore additional training opportunities through partnerships with technical schools and universities, build partnerships with other designers, companies and organizations, and increase the involvement of local communities. “added Lungarotti.

There are currently around 4,000 people on the move in Bosnia, most of whom are trying to reach the EU. They were not welcomed as warmly as before.

While attending the safety training for journalists, I recently met two colleagues from Velika Kladuša, near the Miral camp, outside of which many refugees are left homeless. When asked if they have pepper spray in their bags when they go to the migrant camp to report, they said yes, but for the stray dogs, not for the people.

“We have more problems with residents because they think migrants have too much public attention,” one of them said.

About 281 million people were international migrants in 2020, representing 3.6% of the world population.

Photo by Mojor Zhu

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