Sweden for UNHCR

Bringing the hope of a home back to a place where it once felt lost.

Background

In the fall of 2015, thousands of refugees arrived at Stockholm Central Station, bringing nothing but what they could carry. This has since been known as “the refugee autumn of 2015”.

Sweden for UNHCR is the local fund-raising organization for UNHCR, the official UN Refugee Agency. They wanted to highlight that there had been five years since the thousands of refugees arrived at Stockholm Central Station, and to point out that there is still much work to be done regarding the refugee situation around the world.

Solution

It turns out that many refugees choose to bring their house keys when they are forced to flee. This key becomes the symbol of the life they once had, and are hoping to have again. Together with internationally renowned photographer Pieter ten Hoopen we designed a photo exhibition, showcasing house keys of refugees and the owners of them. The hope of a home. And we positioned it at the place where it all began five years ago – the heart of Stockholm Central Station.

Together with the keys and their portraits we printed stories, snapshots, of the lives they used to lead, the long and often winding roads that took them from their homes, and their hopes for the future.

Outcome

The face to face recruiters reported the year's most effective week of fund-raising for Sweden for UNHCR.

“We sold the apartment, and the keys disappeared with it. But the hope of one day returning, I will always carry with me.”

“I had spent 15 years building our house and everything disappeared in seconds as the bombs fell. The key is all I have left.”

Press

Credits

  • Photography: Pieter ten Hoopen
  • Carpenter: Björn Forslind

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