By Alice Abrey
SolidariTee is an international student-led campaign that sells t-shirts and tote bags to raise money for refugee legal aid. The new team of reps at Cardiff University are encouraging you to buy a shirt and show solidarity too!
It is all too easy for our thoughts of the refugee crisis to fade away behind mounting work deadlines and the dwindling news coverage of asylum seekers. However, SolidariTee’s unique two-fold process of financially supporting legal aid NGOs on the ground as well as publicising the issues keeps conversations about refugees at the forefront of our minds and social actions. As SolidariTee founder, Tiara Sahar Ataii observed during her work as a translator for legal aid NGOs in Greece, legal aid is the only way to get people out of the ‘legal limbo’ that is often inevitable for them in temporary camps and is the only solution to the asylum process which can so easily end with deportation.
As Head Rep of Cardiff SolidariTee, I’m excited to bring such an important campaign to the city. Our team of 15 enthusiastic student reps are spread across a range of schools in the University and will be selling t-shirts at a number of socials and events throughout the term. The sale of each £10 SolidariTee shirt is efficiently spent thanks to volunteer reps and minimal administration costs so as much profit can support the NGOs as possible. In the past two years, SolidariTee has raised nearly £48,000 and sold 3,600 t-shirts and 600 totes across the world. We are looking forward to contributing to SoldariTee’s growing success and impact, but we can’t do it without your support! Wearing a t-shirt may not seem like an act of activism but wearing a SolidariTee shirt carries the important message of the campaign wherever you go whilst also funding meaningful change. In Cardiff, we hope to get as many students as possible wearing their shirts and standing in solidarity.
The 2018/19 campaign features two designs by the Sudanese artist, Dar Al Naim. Both designs feature a silhouette of a human intertwined with the sea in either a monochrome print or with teal highlights. Her striking illustrations evoke questions of perilous journeys, freedom, ‘faceless’ individuals and innocence, that encourage conversations about the work of SolidariTee and the plight of refugees.
For more information about our work in Cardiff as well as SolidariTee in general, check out the SolidariTee Facebook page which is a hub of photograph campaigns and infographics tackling misinformation about refugees. The official launch of the Cardiff Team will also be featured there soon so be sure not to miss it!
SolidariTee shows that activism is not limited to carrying banners and protesting, rather, small acts of solidarity, such as buying a t-shirt and wearing it proudly, can be as influential and supportive as larger actions.
To show solidarity and buy a £10 shirt (S,M,L or XL) or to collaborate with the Cardiff team, contact me, Alice, at email@example.com.