A Hungarian photographer has faced a barrage of criticism after organising a refugee-inspired photoshoot. The ‘Der Migrant’ series by Norbert Baksa features a woman posing in front of a barbed wire fence.
In some shots she wears a scarf around her head and is dragged away by what appear to be police officers. In other shots the model’s clothes fall open to bare much of her breasts as she takes selfies with a Chanel-branded phone.
The photoshoot prompted outrage on social media…
Baksa strongly defended the shoot, writing on his website: “I usually refuse to deal with political topics, but this situation affects the daily lives of virtually everybody in Hungary.
“Regarding the reactions, I hoped people would realise that the situation is very complex and see that they are taking stands based on partial or biased information.
“I do not understand how people can take a clear stand (pro or con) while we are flooded with contradictory information through the media, so no one has extensive knowledge of the situation as a whole.
“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 an smartphone.
“Fortunately, many people have grabbed the meaning of the material and appreciate it for what it is meant to mean.
“On the other hand, loads of people react from their viewpoint without trying to understand the meaning of the message. These people find the pictures offending, but we never meant to offend anybody, but rather to draw the attention to the complexity of these people’s problem. During the shooting, we did our best to respect people’s faith and conviction and not to cross certain boundaries.
“The shooting is not intended to glamourise this clearly bad situation, but rather, as said above, to draw the attention to the problem and make people think about it. Artists around the world regularly attract the public’s attention to current problems through ‘shocking’ installations and pictures. This is another example of such art.
“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.”
Hungary attracted widespread criticism after it began building a 25-mile razor wire fence on its border with Croatia.
The country’s parliament also approved the used of rubber bullets, tear gas and grenades against refugees trying to cross its borders.