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PTC's Five Best Boats Throughout History - In honour of 'Mit Sicherheit Gut Ankommen'

October 7, 2017

Last weekend Pass the Crayon attended an event held along the banks of the river Spree, featuring a refugee rescue ship, and 70 copper figurines... This was 'Mit Sicherheit Gut Ankommen', a visionary project which saw artists and refugee initiatives from all over Europe gather together in solidarity with refugees and the welcome culture movement.


The main focus of Mit Sicherheit Gut Ankommen was the celebration of the journey of two ships (first the M/S Anton, and then Al-hadj Djumaa), travelling from Denmark, across the North Sea coast and through Germany, arriving in Berlin for the 'United Nations World Refugee Day'. 70 copper figures from Danish artist Jens Galschiøt were transported on board the vessel, transferring from M/S Anton to Al-hadj Djumaa at Papenburg, Germany. These life-sized bronze-cast figurines, a mixture of men, women and children, provided a bold and powerful representation of refugees in all their forms. 



The fundamental idea behind this ambitious nomadic project was to encourage the public to engage with the topic of 'escape and migration' in a different way. The project is based on the Declaration of Norderneyer ('Norderneyer Eklarung'), with special focus on the plight of children and young families. It emphasizes the importance of developing bilateral solutions to the issues facing refugees, and stresses the need for discussion at a European level.


In addition to the journey on water, a parallel land-based voyage also took place, with the whole convoy stopping at regular intervals to host meetings, performances and exhibitions in their community Yurt and stage area, and also providing the opportunity for members of the public to go on board, view the statues and chat to the crew. These mini-festivals have attracted thousands of people, and featured the participation of artists and creative organisations, local and international non-profits and refugee initiatives, including Pass the Crayon, who hosted art sessions in the Yurt on Friday and Saturday (check out Babi Paul's article about PTC's sessions here!)


So in celebration of this wonderful creative project, we present to you Pass The Crayon's Five Best Boats Throughout History. Our five fave boats are all vessels that have been involved in some form of altruism, whether it be humanitarian, conservation or wildlife activism. None of the boats that we have chosen are affiliated with any specific government, army or cooperation.  By choosing these boats, we are endorsing the whole ethos and spirit of the boat-- and crucially, the crew and captain who give the ship it's purpose. By awarding these boats, we are implicitly awarding the entire crew and organisations behind these ships and the work that they do. Enjoy! xoxo


1. M/S Anton and Al-hadj Djumaa

Having been on board the Al-Hadj Djumaa only a few days ago, it is fitting to award this boat (along with it's brother the M/S Anton) our top spot!


The M/S Anton is a typical Danish fishing cutter from 1948, owned by the socio-environmental initiative, Levende Hav. Since 2010, the M/S Anton has ported in approximately 40 Danish harbors, and to date, more than 100,000 people have seen the M/S Anton and her figurines, encouraging public debate and deeper thought.


The Al-hadj Djumaa, picks up the torch for the final leg of the pilgrimage, it's size and build making it more suitable for inland navigation. The Al-hadj Djumaa is owned by Rederij Lampedusa, a non- profit organization located in Amsterdam, who offer canal rides thematically focused on flight and forced expulsions. In the summer of 2013, she came with 217 Eritreans and 65 Ethiopians from Egypt and was confiscated by the Italian Coast Guard off the coast of Lampedusa.


Here are some pictures that  I took while I was on board the Al-hadj Djumaa:


Collectively these two vessels have travelled a distance of over 1000 kilometers over the course of two months, and represent an essential component of 'Mit Sicherheit Gut Ankommen'.