A World Without Borders: Art and Activism by Icy and Sot

The Oskouei brothers, Saman and Sasan, also known by their street artist names Icy and Sot, are Iranian artists renowned for their incredible multidisciplinary work that deals with political and humanitarian issues. The brothers have now established themselves as socially responsible artists in the bustling metropolis of Brooklyn, New York, where they produce thought-provoking, collaborative pieces worldwide that aim to inspire and uplift human consciousness.

Their journey to becoming the renowned artists they are today was not without challenges. In 2012, the brothers fled their hometown of Tabriz and sought political asylum in the United States. In their new home, Icy and Sot turned to public street art, sculptures, murals, and installations to express their views and inform the public about crucial topics. Their work is characterised by a positive and unyielding tone that seeks to motivate and uplift the human spirit.

This blog post will take a closer look at Icy and Sot’s work on immigration, border control, and the challenges refugees face. Their installations are powerful and moving tributes to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. By shining a light on these critical issues, Icy and Sot’s work serves as a call to action for society to address these pressing concerns and work towards a more just and equitable future.

Image copyright Icy and Sot

Barbed Wire

The following works use barbed wire to highlight the dangers of division and anti-immigration rhetoric prevalent in many parts of the world. Their use of barbed wire is a powerful symbol that speaks to the physical and emotional barriers that refugees and immigrants face when trying to cross borders. By placing barbed wire in public spaces, Icy and Sot force viewers to confront the reality of these barriers and the difficult journeys many people have to make to seek safety and a better life.

All Images – copyright Icy and Sot

The Open Door

The open door serves as a metaphor for the many doors closed to refugees and immigrants worldwide. It challenges viewers to consider the importance of open borders and the need for greater empathy and compassion towards those who are forced to flee their homes due to war, violence, and persecution.

All Images – copyright Icy and Sot


Icy and Sot’s ‘The New American Flag’ is another installation that addresses the issue of border control policies. The installation features an American flag made entirely of barbed wire, highlighting the harsh and unwelcoming nature of current immigration policies in the United States. Similarly, their installation ‘EU Flag’ features a European Union flag made entirely of razor wire, commenting on the border control policies in Europe.

By using these harsh materials to create the flags, Icy and Sot are drawing attention to these policies’ divisive and harmful effects and calling for greater understanding and compassion towards those seeking refuge and a better life in these countries. Their use of artistic symbolism and materials is a powerful reminder of the human impact of political decisions and the need for empathy and compassion in our global society.

All Images – copyright Icy and Sot

Life Jackets

In addition to their other works, Icy and Sot have also created thought-provoking works in Lesbos, Greece, and Ostend, Belgium, using life jackets. The life jackets symbolise the hardship and danger refugees face when fleeing their countries. Icy and Sot use them to raise awareness about the refugee crisis and the need for empathy and support for those affected. Their work highlights the plight of refugees and the urgent need to address the humanitarian crisis. Using life jackets as a medium, they have effectively conveyed a message of hope and resilience in the face of adversity.

All Images – copyright Icy and Sot


Their latest piece is a unique interpretation of a brick wall, where the artists have used steel as the primary medium. Their exceptional artistic abilities are evident in this installation, drawing attention to refugees’ everyday struggles. The duo meticulously crafted the wall using their welding skills, resulting in a thought-provoking and impactful piece of art.

Refugees Welcome

Through their art, Icy and Sot highlight the inhumane conditions in which migrants, exiles, and people fleeing war are treated. They call for greater understanding, empathy, and compassion in our increasingly interconnected and complex global society. They challenge viewers to think about how we can work together to create a more welcoming and inclusive world that acknowledges all people’s humanity and dignity, regardless of their background, culture, or nationality.

Image copyright Icy and Sot

Icy and Sot’s efforts to raise awareness about the refugee crisis have been deeply personal, yet their art inspires and influences others, leaving a lasting impact on society.

Image copyright Icy and sot



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