Syrian artist designed exhibition “Refuge”

“Refuge – migration in our history,” is the motto of this year’s special exhibition at the Tolerance Museum Fresach. It creates awareness of the needs of people on the run, but also allow a look into their own (Protestant) past which was marked by expulsion, flight and deportation also.

Migration and refuge have accompanied and influenced the social societies of Europe and beyond at all times. Since there are people, they are – also for many different reasons – voluntarily, but much more often forced – wandering. Creating awareness is the task of the special exhibition 2016.

Even in the Bible home loss and escape are a much-cited issue. “Basically, it already begins with the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise,” explains Alexander Hanisch-tungsten, curator of the Fresach exhibition. People leave their homes out of many different reasons, ranging from war and religious persecution through to escape from natural disasters, crop failures and famines.

One who knows the escape from personal experience, is the Syrian artist Thaer Maarouf (44). He has been involved for years with the deteriorating human rights situation in the Middle East and the conditions under which displaced persons have to live and to suffer. For Fresach he has created installations with which he draws attention to the difficult, sometimes dramatic situation of refugees.

“I do not show the war, but the pain of these things,” says Maarouf. He poured old suitcases with concrete, too heavy to carry them off, or he has bundled garments to a “Cloud”. People fleeing are helpless and exposed to wind and weather. “As the one must first endure,” says the artist who portrays the disturbing effects.(ws)

The exhibition is opened daily from Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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