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Boat People

Posted by Remo Giuffre on

Melanie posted this shot in Bondi Fresh Daily the other day:

Making a Point on Bondi Beach

It reminded us about the Boat People design from the REMO range:

Boat People T Shirt on Black for Men


This THEM=US design was initially manifest as an enamel lapel pin in 1992 by the New York based M&Co. design group. The message was originally a reference to Ronald Reagan’s non-response to the AIDS epidemic and an attempted eradication of the perceived wall between the ill and the healthy.

We always thought that the message was bigger than the original application, and could in fact apply to any traditionally polarised situation:

+ Poor = Rich
+ Palestinian = Israeli
+ Black = White
+ Refugee = Resident
+ Gay = Straight
+ Polluter = Polluted
+ British = European = Global Citizen

It’s really just a restatement of the Golden Rule – an “ethic of reciprocity” that dates back to antiquity. Basically it involves a person having empathy with others.

We included a THEM=US badge in all of the bags for the attendees of TEDxSydney 2014. Our lunch that day had been prepared from ingredients grown or baked by refugees or asylum seekers, and we wanted to remind people about the context and spirit with which we should be debating the treatment of people seeking refuge or asylum in Australia.

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