Sep 13, 2015 | By Kira

A Netherlands-based art collective is using guerilla-style tactics and tiny 3D printed figurines to make a big statement about the ongoing refugee crisis. By shining a light on individuals from all over the world in an unexpected way, they hope to strengthen empathy and social cohesion within the Dutch community and abroad.

Over the past several weeks, the refugee crisis in Europe has reached historic proportions, with an estimated 59 million people worldwide forced to flee their home countries due to war, poverty, oppression, and persecution. Not a day goes by without heartbreaking headlines and front-page images of children and entire families in unbearable conditions, whether they are living in a war-torn country, or stranded in train stations without food or water. Yet despite the critical situation, it’s far too easy for those of us living in sheltered, comfortable areas to remain apathetic, or at the very least to turn a blind eye and get on with our everyday lives rather than try to make a difference.

Power of Art House, an artistic collective of designers, socio-cultural entrepreneurs and creative thinkers, are trying to change that by “using art as a weapon against apathy.” Their work uses public spaces to provide information about controversial social issues and current events. Their latest work, titled “Moving People,” was launched this month and consists of thousands of miniature figurines modeled after 10 real-life refugees. The sculptures have been placed all over the streets of Amsterdam and The Hague, from park benches to bus stops, road signs, traffic lights, windowsills, malls and office spaces.

“The ten miniatures represent real people and their moving stories. Small but tangible stories of human voices behind the endless numbers of refugees in the news headlines. These are stories that need to be told, with an artistic – but non-political – twist," said the artists.

To initiate the project, Power of Art House located ten people through various social media channels and refugee organizations who wanted to share their stories. The subjects include Istahil, who fled the Somalian civil war, Inas, whose husband was threatened with death by the Iraqi government, and Alex, who was forced to flee Uganda for the simple fact of being bisexual.

After being interviewed and having their experiences recorded, each individual posed in a way that reflected their memories and feelings, and was then 3D scanned. These models were subsequently 3D printed into 10 cm figurines, from which hundreds of silicone molds could be created. Finally, in collaboration with the Amsterdam’s Pantar, each handmade figure was produced and painted with environmentally friendly materials.

The idea is that the figurines would be placed in unexpected locations all over the city, inviting unsuspecting passersby to stop their daily routines and take a moment to actually think about the ongoing crisis. On the clothing of each figurine is a link to, where you can read about the project and the personal stories. In addition, anyone who comes across a figurine is invited to become a part of the project, either by snapping a photo and sharing it via social media with the hashtag #MovingPeople, or by actually taking the figurine (they are loosely attached to their various surfaces with a small sticker) and placing it somewhere else in the city for other people to see.

The crisis is far from over, and thousands, if not millions, of people will continue to be uprooted. By giving a face to these refugees, the Moving People project invites us to see them not as poor, victimized migrants, but as fellow human beings in need of shelter, understanding, and most of all, compassion. In doing so, it is opening up an important and very necessary dialogue. “Without pointing a finger we want to show that suffering lies behind every refugee, but also true that they want to preserve their human dignity. We want to give refugees a positive face, tell their stories and bring the conversation on the street in motion.”



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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truther wrote at 9/13/2015 3:44:55 PM:

"Mom, dad, why are we traveling 4,000km to Europe, when we have rich neighboring countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, with whom we share a similar culture, religion and language that could receive us? "Quiet boy, we are colonizing Europe in the name of Islam. Don't ruin something which took so long to plan! Plus, we'll have free benefits!

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