More than 4,000 people fleeing the devastating war in Syria have drowned in the Mediterranean as they tried to reach new lands and start new lives.

A Turkish partnership has found a unique way to commemorate these victims of geopolitical unrest: The Sea Cemetery, 200 gravestones made of Styrofoam and tethered by weights, floating off the Turkish coast.

Launched in May, 2016, the buoyant gravestones each bear the name of a known drowning victim, including Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian Kurdish boy whose image made headlines around the world in September, 2015.

The project is an alliance between the marketing agency TBWA ISTANBUL and Support to Life, a nonprofit disaster relief organization also headquartered in Istanbul.

The collaborators are also focused on expanding knowledge of the plight of migrants. The Sea Cemetery sitefeatures multiple videos that explore the crisis via news reports and personal testimony.

Written by staff of Public Art Review.

Featured as a web-only piece during the print run of Public Art Review #54.