Not everyone was impressed with the moment when guests were asked by organizers of the Cinema for Peace Gala in Berlin to wrap themselves in metallic emergency blankets— similar to those given to wet refugees arriving on Greek islands by the boatload every day.
The stunt was intended as an act of solidarity with the plight of refugees by event organizer Ai Weiwei, who also created an art installation using 14,000 life vests flown in from Lesvos, just outside the concert hall where the event was held.
Disgustingly bad Instagram posts from the Cinema For Peace Gala in Berlin
Perhaps using the emergency vests in Greece to help real refugees could have been a better statement. And some of the “celebrities” present could have followed the lead of other celebrities and actually visit the Greek islands and help a bit, the way Susan Sarandon spent her Christmas holidays.
Artnet News called it “offensively tasteless.” Although everyone inside seemed to relish the message, symbolism and photo opportunity— not all were impressed. Berlin’s culture senator Tim Renner called the act obscene on a Facebook post and German magazine Stern called it crass, describing scenes from the evening’s red carpet as celebrities like Charlize Theron walked up the stairs in evening gowns alongside a black rubber boat carrying a banner with the words “Safe Passage” on it.
The scene inside was an obnoxious display of how out of touch some people really are, wrapping themselves in emergency vests used to save people’s lives and posing for ridiculous selfies that they shared on social media with the hashtag #cinemaforpeace
Some clearly had no idea of the ridiculous implications of what they were doing, like these puffy-lipped blondes who called themselves “golden girls” in an Instagram post.
Others defaced statues that adorn the Berlin concert hall with discarded jackets.
One Finnish-born actress-model named Annika Stenvall wrote on her Instagram “I wasn’t even supposed to make it into the shower last night but somehow I ended up in this.” I wonder if she knows what “this” really is— that “this” (or “these”, rather, save lives and are not a fashion statement or something to take as lightly as to create a bed to mock and lay in.