Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: Harbour Square Park
Date: July 2019
S.O.S usually stands for Save Our Souls and is a cry for help. In Boston, in the fall of 2016 it stood for Safety Orange Swimmers. It is still a cry for help. The art exhibit included 22 bright orange people holding onto inner tubes. It was created by artists Ann Hirsch and Jeremy Angier.
The art exhibit will be in Toronto until September 2019. It now includes 25 orange swimmers. Each person represents more than one million refugees. There are estimated to be nearly 26 million refugees risking their lives crossing oceans and dangerous terrain to reach safety and freedom for their families.
The orange figures all look identical and are only torsos. As they get caught in the wake of a boat you can clearly see that there is no mid section or legs attached. The figures cling to their inner tubes but are anchored so they do not drift away further into Lake Ontario.
The artwork represents people who are so desperate to flee their country that they leave everything behind and risk death by drowning or dehydration as they cling to homemade rafts. A boat approached and we imagined what these orange people would be thinking as they faced an uncertain future in a new land.
Map of Our World
Safety Orange Swimmers
Post # 258