Photographer Norbert Baksa’s ‘Der Migrant’ series is causing a great deal of outrage online after being shared by the photographer on Instagram and Twitter.
The images feature a model dressed in designer clothes and shoes, standing and sitting next to the barbed-wire fence of the Hungary-Croatia border.
Props include a Chanel-branded mobile phone to take selfies, a handbag and a luxurious headscarf blowing in the wind.
Comments on social media have been prompt and scathing.
— Szabolcs Panyi (@panyiszabolcs) October 6, 2015
So this magazine thought it would be awesome to do a fashion shoot themed on the refugee crisis. I mean, really? http://t.co/tjGvRAsMyf
— Matina Stevis-Gridneff (@MatinaStevis) October 6, 2015
— Dr Thom Davies (@ThomDavies) October 6, 2015
In response to the criticism, Baksa wrote on his personal website,
“This is exactly what we wanted to picture: you see a suffering woman, who is also beautiful and, despite her situation, has some high quality pieces of outfit and a smartphone.”
“The shooting is not intended to glamourise this clearly bad situation…Artists around the world regularly attract the public’s attention to current problems through ‘shocking’ installations and pictures.”
“To people who said I am stupid, I can only say they should examine the problem from different angles, all the more that they do not live in Hungary, so they do not experience it first hand. It is very difficult to understand from the news coverage whether these people are indeed refugees or something else.”
In a press release, the photographer explained his reasoning behind the the title of the image series and his personal experience of the crisis in Hungary.
“We chose the title to be in German for several reasons. First and foremost, Germany is the leading power of the European Union and most migrants wish to live in Germany. Choosing the masculine form while picturing a woman also points out the fact that the issue of migrants can be and is viewed in different manners…”
“My Hungarian background influenced the photos in that I live in Hungary. I see the issue on a daily basis, pro and con,. I met people from both sides and realised how differently they see the issue.”
Let us know what you think of photographer Norbert Baksa’s actions in the comments below.
Images used with permission.