Photographer's Note

I saw this interesting installation in the courtyard of the City Hall in Mechelen. It is called Inflatable Refugee. The sculpture travels in many places - Venice, Copenhagen, Uppsala. It stayed in Mechelen two months.

A refugee is larger than life! Larger than life because the refugee crisis is larger than life. The artist duo Schellekens & Peleman have come up with a statement of stature: Inflatable Refugee, a six-metre high inflatable of a seated refugee. Its scale allows the refugee to look far beyond the horizon, unhindered by borders or by papers he doesn’t have. There is an abandoned look in his eyes: has he arrived in a safe haven, or will he soon be sent back to the misery he so desperately wants to flee?
With their gigantic inflatable the artists also say something about the way the refugee is regarded in the West. For isn’t it true that he is usually seen as a gigantic problem, and only rarely as an opportunity? What makes this installation even more poignant is Schellekens & Peleman’s decision to make the figure out of the same material as the boats used by people-smugglers.

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The front view

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12886 W: 136 N: 33327] (152426)
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