Don't miss




Mashujaa day: Kenyatta and Odinga call for peace before election rerun

Read more


Kurdish referendum a ‘colossal mistake’, says son of late president Talabani

Read more


The new 30s club: NZ's Jacinda Ardern joins list of maverick leaders

Read more


Raqqa, Kirkuk, Xi Jinping

Read more


The Dictator's Games: A rare look inside Turkmenistan

Read more

#TECH 24

Teaching maths with holograms

Read more


Is China exporting its pollution?

Read more

#THE 51%

Are female empowerment adverts actually good for the cause?

Read more


The mixed legacy of 'Abenomics' in Japan

Read more


Hungarian photographer under fire over ‘migrant chic’ fashion shoot

© Screen grab from Norbert Baksa website (

Text by Charlotte BOITIAUX

Latest update : 2015-10-08

Hungarian photographer Norbert Baksa has sparked outrage with a series of pictures featuring a model depicted as a migrant amid a massive refugee crisis in Europe. Baksa has denied that his aim is to “glamourise” a desperate situation.

Published on Barka’s professional blog, “DER MIGRANT” has faced an avalanche of criticism from Internet users who say the photos are insulting to people fleeing extreme violence and poverty.

In response, Barka said on Monday that his aim was not to offend refugees or anyone else, but to “rais[e] awareness” about the “complexity of the situation”.

It is easy to understand why some people are taking issue with the Hungarian photographer’s project.

In one frame, the scantily-clad model is shown taking a selfie with a Chanel mobile phone. In another, she sits with her legs splayed, holding an unappetising sandwich in her soot-covered hands.

Other props include floodlights, a menacing police officer and a barbed wire fence, one that immediately recalls the dangerous metal barrier put up by Hungary’s nationalist government in reaction to the influx of migrants in recent months.

“Remember Zoolander?” British film critic Simon Thompson said on Twitter in reference to the Ben Stiller comedy “NOT a parody, just sick: Der Migrant fashion shoot!”

Baksa has defended his fashion photos. “Artists around the world regularly attract the public’s attention to current problems through ‘shocking’ installations and pictures. This is another example of such art,” he wrote on his blog.

The pictures nevertheless appear more set on drawing attention to his model’s bare breasts than to the largest refugee crisis to hit Europe since World War II.

In his blog Baksa is careful not to take a stand, or comment on his government’s controversial policies toward migrants.

“I do not understand how people can take a clear stand while we are flooded with contradictory information through the media, so no one has extensive knowledge of the situation as a whole,” he wrote.

“It is very difficult to understand from the news coverage whether these people are indeed refugees or something else,” he added.

Baksa said the photos had only been published on social media websites, but that he was considering requests to publish the photos from “various countries”.

Date created : 2015-10-07


    International aid to Syrians 'utterly inadequate', Oxfam says

    Read more

  • EU

    EU launches operation to halt migrant traffickers in Mediterranean

    Read more


    Hungary’s Orban accuses Merkel of ‘moral imperialism’ over refugee quotas

    Read more