“Using art as a weapon against apathy,” Amsterdam-based art collective >Power of Art House creates cultural works intended to contribute to discourse in society. Taking over public spaces, the group of designers, entrepreneurs, producers, and creative thinkers thrust controversial social issues and current events into oft-indifferent faces.
The artistic think tank’s most recent project sees 10,010 miniature 3D-printed refugees take to the streets, park benches, bus stops, walls, and windowsills of Amsterdam and The Hague, to reveal human stories behind the world’s estimated 59 million refugees currently in flight of persecution, war, and oppression.
Taking ten refugees from around the world, we meet Istahil, who fled the Somalian civil war, Inas, who fled Iraq after her husband was threatened with death by the government, and Alex, who fled Uganda for being bisexual. Other miniatures tell stories from Ethiopia, Syria, Rwanda, and Eritrea.
“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,” say the artists.
The 10cm figurines, posed to reflect the storytellers’ memories and emotions, were 3D scanned, modelled into miniatures, and then 3D printed in volume, in collaboration with Amsterdam-based workshop Pantar, produced and hand painted with environmentally friendly materials.
Anyone who finds one is invited to become part of its journey, either by sharing an image with the hashtag #MovingPeople, or by continuing its migration around the city for others to see.
By Ella Pearce Heath
Photo credit: Moving People by Power of Art House