Rough.eq Creates Miniature Refugee Boats in Basel, Switzerland

As much of Europe is actually the recipient of refugees arriving in boats from war-torn countries, this image of a small boat filled past its capacity with people has a lot of relevance to people in Basel, Switzerland who spot them.

Rough.eq. Basel, Switzerland. 2017. (photo © Bernhard Chiquet)

The tiny concrete sculptures by a Street Artist who goes by the name of Rough.eq are usually attached via lock and chain near a body of water or stream or inlet, and a viewer can quickly begin making associations with the plight of people leaving home forever to go upon dangerous seas.

Other times the diminutive refugees are landlocked, or sitting in snow – giving perhaps an even greater sense of being adrift in unknown, unrecognizeable territory and the difficulty many people experience when trying to assimilate in what can be a strange and confusing society.

Rough.eq. Basel, Switzerland. 2017. (photo © Chihun Yang)

As frightening as the stories that immigrants and refugees tell of riding in overloaded and insecure vessels to escape war, poverty, persecution, they are increasingly in danger of not feeling safe in their country of destination, thanks to a rising xenophobic sentiment in some places.

The economic burden is not always easy to take on, and natives worry that the host culture will be changed in fundamental ways that they will not like. Some times the culprit is simply racism and fear of the “other”.

For Rough.eq, the response to his pieces has been quick, but it is hard to tell if it is supportive or the opposite.

“Three out of these four of my “Lock Ons” have already disappeared,” he tells us.

Rough.eq. Basel, Switzerland. 2017. (photo © Chihun Yang)

Rough.eq. Basel, Switzerland. 2017. (photo © Chihun Yang)

Rough.eq. Basel, Switzerland. 2017. (photo © Chihun Yang)

Rough.eq. Basel, Switzerland. 2017. (photo © Chihun Yang)

 

Rough.eq. Basel, Switzerland. 2017. (photo © Bernhard Chiquet)

Rough.eq. Basel, Switzerland. 2017. (photo © Chihun Yang)

Rough.eq. Basel, Switzerland. 2017. (photo © Bernhard Chiquet)

 



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