Blue ribbons are the accessory for this year’s Oscars, in support of the global refugee crisis.

As celebrities strutted down the Oscars red carpet, awash in Hollywood glitz and glamour, some sported a more subtle accessory: blue ribbons representing solidarity with the world’s refugee population.

The participating nominees and attendees were supporting the UN Refugee Agency(Opens in a new tab) (UNHCR) #WithRefugees(Opens in a new tab) campaign, a coalition(Opens in a new tab) from universities, foundations, religious organizations, youth groups, businesses and NGOs providing aid to refugees and asylum seekers and calling for international support for those forced to flee their homes.

“The wearing of the #WithRefugees blue ribbon on the red carpet sends a powerful visual message that everyone has the right to seek safety, whoever, wherever, whenever,” UNHCR wrote in a press release.


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Each ribbon was handcrafted by a team at the Knotty Tie Co.(Opens in a new tab)an American clothing company support refugees(Opens in a new tab) they resettled in the Denver, Colorado area through employment, training, and education.

Big names, like Best Actress nominee Cate Blanchett, have joined the global movement during awards season.(Opens in a new tab). “What I love about the film is the way it takes us to compelling human themes to uncover the connective tissue that binds us all together,” she wrote in a press release. “Every time I have met refugees, in places like Lebanon, Jordan or Bangladesh, in the UK or in Australia, what has struck me has not been their ‘otherness’, but the amount of things we share. “.

Oscar® nominee Cate Blanchett arrives on the red carpet for the 95th Annual Academy Awards® at the Dolby® Theater at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023.
Credit: Kyusung Gong / ©AMPAS

Other actors, like triangle of sadnessDolly De Leon also expressed support from the film industry. “At a time when so many people are suffering in the world, showing a little kindness and compassion to our fellow human beings shouldn’t be much of a question,” she wrote.

The message is timely one year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine sent millions of refugees around the world and as more than 103 million forcibly displaced people(Opens in a new tab) to look for help

In the nexus between cinema and activism, many of the films nominated for this year’s awards share common themes(Opens in a new tab) of trauma, loss and displacement, including the Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary A house made of chips, which tells the story of an orphanage in eastern Ukraine. Santiago Mitre, the mind behind the nominee for Best International Feature Film Argentina, 1985and Edward Berger, director of the Best Film nominee and winner of the Best International Feature Film award All calm on the west frontthey were among those who pledged their support through the blue ribbons.

Actress Dolly De Leon, wearing a black suit, red accessories and a blue ribbon, arrives at the Oscars

Dolly De Leon arrives on the red carpet for The 95th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theater at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 12, 2023.
Credit: Blaine Ohigashi / ©AMPAS

They are all backed by activist and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Yusra Mardini, whose story of fleeing home during the Syrian civil war is depicted in the BAFTA-nominated Netflix film. The swimmers. Mardini became a member of the first Refugee Olympians Team. Her older sister, human rights activist Sara Mardini, was arrested by Greek officials in 2018 for supporting migrant rescue efforts in the Mediterranean.

“As a former refugee, it is truly amazing to see so many artists wearing a blue ribbon tonight in solidarity with refugees and displaced people around the world,” the young Mardini wrote. “My people, and so many others, are suffering. They need our support. We all need peace.”

UPDATE: March 13, 2023 12:43 pm EDT This story, originally published on March 12, 2023, was updated after the 95th Academy Awards.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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