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Inflatable Refugee - Berlin

A project from Organ kritischer Kunst / Kolonie Wedding e.V.
in Berlin, Germany

The "Inflatable Refugee" is a media-effective, artistic intervention in public space that is intended to draw attention to current and past refugee problems and to create empathy with the people affected.

Pablo Hermann
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About this project

Coinciding with the global migration “crisis” in 2015, Schellekens & Peleman started to work on ‘Inflatable Refugee’. 

A large inflatable adult male figure that represents a seated refugee. The ‘Inflatable Refugee’ gazes blankly into the distance. Has he arrived at a safe haven or will he be refused and be sent from whence he came? His sheer size allows him to look over and beyond us and keep watch on the horizon, not limited by borders or documents. It makes him inescapable, undeniably present. 

The artists proportionally enlarged the ‘Inflatable Refugee’ to match the reactions his arrival in the Western world evoked. His size represents how we perceive him. Is his presence a huge opportunity or a big threat, devoid of human characteristics? Do we see him as a human or as a problem? Questions of uncertainty galore. The surrealism of this iconic figure eliminates fear as being the leitmotiv of many discussions and debates. 
Schellekens & Peleman have chosen to create this inflatable figure from the same material as the boats, used by human traffickers to cross the Mediterranean Sea, are made from. It’s too fragile to withstand the waves of the sea, making the passengers on these boats extremely vulnerable. 

Schellekens & Peleman created the ‘Inflatable Refugee’ to be able to travel on water. Seated on a boat he floats and passes the skylines of big world cities and the lives of the people that inhabit them. Inflatable Refugee brings a message. His presence is undeniable. By introducing the surreal figure of Inflatable Refugee in a city, citizens are aware that something is different, something is brought into their urban life that they did not see before. Inflatable Refugee will be the citizen’s fellow citizen for a certain amount of time. 

The funds collected in this campaign will be used to implement three presentations in public space in Berlin. The project period is August 2022. Ideally in the Humboldthafen on the water and on land in front of the Reichstag building and on the Grüntal Promenade in Wedding. The interventions in public space form the supporting program for an exhibition of the artists involved in the rooms of the organ of critical art.

Premiums for special donations are staggered as follows:
10 euros: eternal gratitude from OKK
15 euros: eternal gratitude and a blow-kiss from OKK
25 euros: eternal gratitude, a blow-kiss from OKK and an exclusive autographed postcard from Schellekens & Peleman


About

betterplace.org is the largest German donation platform. Since 2007 we have been helping people, aid organizations and companies to do good. All projects on betterplace.org are non-profit. Since we ourselves also do not work for profit, our platform is free of charge for the projects.
2007founded
12,500non-profit organisations
185m €for a good cause
Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft (Logo)

The "Inflatable Refugee" is a media-effective, artistic intervention in public space that is intended to draw attention to current and past refugee problems and to create empathy with the people affected.

About this project

Pablo Hermann Write a message

What is needed

About

betterplace.org is the largest German donation platform. Since 2007 we have been helping people, aid organizations and companies to do good. All projects on betterplace.org are non-profit. Since we ourselves also do not work for profit, our platform is free of charge for the projects.
2007founded
12,500non-profit organisations
185m €for a good cause
Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft (Logo)