The refugee crisis mounting in Europe due to the ongoing Syrian civil war has garnered a great deal of attention without much being done to address the situation. European immigration policies have been the subject of criticism for years. Despite the horrific ordeal many refugees must undergo to escape their war-torn countries and have a better life, governments in Europe and across the world have still failed to take meaningful action.
In growing numbers, street artists worldwide have taken up civic activism and voiced their opinions various world governments’ failure to provide the adequate and necessary aid to Syrian refugees suffering from the conflict there.
Italian muralist Blu shared his opinion about the refugee crisis in the EU by creating this mural in Melilla, a small city controlled by Spain, but located in continental Africa, bordering Morocco. The wall was close to the Melilla-Morocco border, giving it a wide exposure to thousands of people who pass through the border to buy imported goods and products to resell in Morocco. Blu questions the crisis, “Have you have wondered [sic] how Europe looks from the outside? It looks like a huge electrified triple fence decorated with barbed wire. That is how it looks like in Melilla, a Spanish colony in Africa.”
An unknown artist in Brazil drew this graffiti after the image of drowned 3-year old Syrian migrant Aylan Kurdi went viral on September. The art depicts the image of the drowned boy accompanied by the words “paz(peace)/abandonas(abandoned)” in Sorocaba, Brazil.
Italian street artist Massimo Mion created the European Programme For Migration and explained the meaning via an email interview that: “the artwork aims to raise social consciousness about [the] migrants problem, and it does it in an ironic way.” Addressing that the art may seem innocent at first glance since a child is playing battleship, “but the title tells us this is not a game, and the lives lost in the game are real lives.”
He says that his artwork does not seek to give us any answers, adding: “The problem of refugees and migrants is too complicated to be solved by a drawing or by politicians who treat people as numbers,” pointing out that the “art is there to remind us that the problem is here now, and we have to deal with it.”