American Marketer


Trussardi’s foundation raises conversation around refugees through topical exhibit

June 19, 2017

Photo by Francis Alÿs as part of "The Restless Earth." Image credit: Fondazione Nicola Trussardi


Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, the nonprofit organization linked to Italian fashion label Trussardi, is raising awareness for refugees through art.

In honor of World Refugee Day on June 20, the foundation is working with La Triennale de Milano to stage events that aim to shed light on the current migratory crisis and the refugee experience. While its mission is the support of art, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi's co-produced exhibit inserts the brand into a larger conversation about migration and the experience of crossing borders.

Visual aid
World Refugee Day was created in 2000 to mark the 50th anniversary of refugee status, which was established during the Geneva Convention in 1951.

During the day, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will be hosting events around the world that celebrate the determination and strength of refugees.

Fondazione Nicola Trussardi is also participating, presenting two projects related to its exhibit “La Terra Inquieta.”

The exhibit, whose name translates to “The Restless Earth,” takes its name from a collection of poems by Caribbean writer Édouard Glissant. In his writings, the poet pondered how different cultures can exist together.

Running with this multicultural theme, curator Massimiliano Gioni selected the work of more than 60 artists from more than 40 different nations. The artwork is displayed alongside documents, allowing the exhibit to tell the story of refugees through a mix of journalistic styles and fiction.

"The Restless Earth" exhibit. Image credit: La Triennale de Milano

Photographs, videos, installations and artifacts further the narrative. The exhibit closes with a Steve McQueen film of the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of welcoming to those fleeing other nations.

On June 20, visitors can view the exhibit at a reduced rate of admission.

There will also be an appearance by Pierfrancesco Majorino, Milan’s commissioner for social policies, health and people’s rights. The commissioner will visit the exhibit with a group of refugees being housed in Milan.

Beyond this event, Milan’s Protection Service for Asylum Seekers and Refugees is opening the doors to refugee reception centers, allowing visitors to better understand the work being done by seeing the facilities and talking with workers and refugees themselves.

Opened April 28, the exhibit will run through Aug. 20.

Tackling current events in exhibits inserts brands into the conversation.

For instance, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain furthered the conversation around the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change with an exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo.

“Exit,” first staged in 2008, consisted of a series of statistically-driven maps that study the migration of the world’s population, a subject that is inseparable from that of the altered climate patterns. With current events focused heavily on both cross-border movements and the changing atmosphere, this exhibit will likely strike a chord with visitors (see story).