|Credit: Arts and Collection
This artwork "Beyond Walls" by the French-Swiss land artist Saype is designed to disappear as well, unite i.e. fall like the Berlin Wall that was built to divide. Perhaps a strong testament to the message it wants to convey that any hostility and ignorance around migrants need to fade away. The artwork is an attempt to create the largest human chain in the world. The hands reproduce the first gesture made by the volunteers when they rescue migrants from the sea.
Amid global outright opposition to immigration, refugees, and asylum seekers in the world which is increasingly becoming inward-looking, it is heartening to see this artwork that handouts a message of enriching the diversity and expanding cultures. Notwithstanding the humanitarian crisis, many countries are also struggling to manage the influx of refugees who are running away from their terrible fates back in their home countries. This post is an ode to all the people who are pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and working hard to reach their goals making efforts to change their lives for the better. It's been a struggle for many people who are not skilled immigrants or who are not privileged enough to move without the fear of persecution with heightened immigration reforms and backlash from the protectionist policies of many countries. We must thank countries that are gracious enough to accept them with open hearts.
Although with rising skepticism it is also concerning to see that radical elements have seeped into the system through routes like immigration, refuge, and asylum. It doesn't help to have a meaningful dialogue around migrants and the larger cause of wholehearted acceptance. Social media is adding fuel to the fire in circulating false narratives about the pitfalls of opening doors. A recent viral video, albeit fake, has been doing rounds where a Belgian Euro MP is heard saying, “It’s very worrying to see what’s happening now. We see people from Islamic backgrounds forming their own political parties and demanding the introduction of Sharia law and Islamic state in Belgium.”
Definitely a tight rope, but not impossible to climb onto with some empathy. Perpetuating ignorance and hostility towards migrants is not the answer the new world order seeks anymore. We are hoping that there is greater awareness around this subject which helps people to create bonds + peace and not fear + loathing.