Norbert Baska: Migrant Chic

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A Hungarian photographer has caused outrage and controversy across social media around the globe. Norbert Baska created a number of refugee inspired images under the name of ‘Der Migrant’. The images present female models posing as refugees, surrounded by barbed wire, whilst dressed in minimal clothing.

Many have argued that the photographs glamorise the current crisis that many Syrian women are facing – images present models battling police officers and taking selfies in high end clothing.

"Der-Migrant" mirror.com

“Der-Migrant” mirror.com

Baska took to twitter to defend his work: “Der Migrant people: realize the complexity of the situation and address it in different angles! Neither pro nor con, raising awareness!”

A large proportion of the criticism focuses upon the photograph that features a model taking a selfie whilst wearing a head scarf. Not only does the image glamorise the current crisis surrounding the refugees of Syria, it also sexualises them. The woman photographed bears her half naked breast through her open blouse; is Baska raising awareness or simply selling fashion?

The images were seen as particularly disrespectful due to many migrants originating from conservative cultural backgrounds – is Baska accurately representing these women of war?

Baska took to his own website, to defend his work, once again, stating that the purpose was to raise awareness. He stated, “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.” However, Baska has since removed the images from the internet following the intense criticism they created over social media sites such as twitter.

What are your views on Norbert Baska’s work? Does he accurately illustrate the current crisis or is his work simply focused on the fashion industry? Tweet us @LabelOnline or comment below.

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