Once we found out that America’s beloved and sweet Sriracha was invented by David Tran, a Vietnamese refugee… it got us thinking. How many of our other favorite things had been made by refugees too?
After some moderate to severe Googling, we soon discovered that it wasn’t a lot at all – but a WHOLE lot. And they were kind of a big deal… like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Bambi, the birth control pill, and the Mini Cooper, just to name a few…
Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar to Indian parents, settled in the UK after fleeing the Zanzibar revolution in 1964. Felix Salten, the author of Bambi, fled Austria for Switzerland after one of his books was banned by Hitler in 1936. Carl Djerassi, an Austrian refugee, is best known for his contribution to the development of oral contraceptive pills. Alec Issigonis, creator of the iconic Mini Cooper, was evacuated from Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey) during the Greek-Turkish war in 1922. Oh, and there’s more – like – way more.
Stories say that rosary beads were created by the Virgin Mary (an Israeli refugee). The Bible and Christianity were inspired by Jesus Christ (he was also an Israeli refugee). Then there’s the music of M.I.A. (refugee of Sri Lanka), MIKA (Lebanese refugee), Regina Spektor (refugee from the Soviet Union), Gloria Estefan (Cuban refugee), Rita Ora (Yugoslavian refugee) and Bob Marley (Jamaican refugee).
The play Les Miserables and novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame were written by Victor Hugo (French refugee). E=mc2 and the Theory of Relativity were gifted to the world by Albert Einstein (refugee of Germany). The Diary of Anne Frank was written by of course, Anne Frank, who fled Germany for safety in The Netherlands. The list goes on and on, but my fingers are hurting from typing!
Basically, we wanted everyone to know, so we created, “Made By Refugee”, a sticker campaign that uses the actual refugee-made products as a canvas to display our message.
First, we designed stickers featuring the official Refugee Nation flag
Then, we placed them on refugee made products all over NYC
Like Bob Marley’s “LEGEND” album
And Felix Salten’s classic, Bambi
We also found a cute MINI Cooper, designed by Alec Issigonis
Simply to prove that refugees…
Like Albert Einstein, for example
Have made huge contributions to society
Oh, and here’s a video of us in action