‘Which country would you choose?’ – Europe on Demand

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TUGGERANONG-based artist Barak Zelig is asking the public, “Which country would you choose to live in if you were seeking refuge in Europe?” in an interactive performance puzzle called “Europe on Demand”.

Barak Zelig, preparing for Europe on Demand
Barak Zelig, preparing for Europe on Demand

Zelig, whose practise involves large and small scare sculpture, printmaking and installation, has designed it as an interactive and thought provoking activity, to take place over three days this week at Tuggeranong Arts Centre, will ask participants to assume the role of a refugee moving to Europe. Imagine you are taking the risk to move alone or with a family, where would you go if you were refused entry?

They’ll be given some information and a short questionnaire, and then asked to mark on a large map, the two countries they would choose to live in if they were seeking refuge in Europe. A ceiling-mounted camera positioned above the large floor map will capture the 3-day performance puzzle and the entire event will be edited into a 3 minute film and screened at a later date. Participants will have the opportunity to select their choice of countries in open lists which will be positioned around the gallery.

Assuming you are a refugee arriving to Europe, he asks, would you go to live in Western Europe? Would you go to France, Spain, Netherlands, UK, or maybe you would like to live in the former Communist countries, such as Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia? Would you rather live in the Balkans? Would you go to live in established communities or would you rather start your own community?

Harry Opperman
Harry Opperman

Over 200 people have already selected two countries that they would go to and others will participate on the night.

Zelig says he hopes to engage the general public in a conversation about refugees and provide “an interesting snap shot of people’s understanding of conditions for refugees in Europe.” “He expects most will choose Western European countries, but to encourage more thinking around ideas of free movement or movement restrictions inside Europe, participants will be asked to make a second choice.

“Some part of Europe may present employment struggles and lower living standards but will be less competitive, providing opportunities to form new communities,” Zelig said.

The opening will take place at 6pm this Wednesday May 25, and all are welcome to attend and observe the process. Harry Opperman, who was born in a refugee camp and has gone on to work for the rights of refugees as a member of the faith-based Working Group of Refugee Action Coalition and vice chair of Canberra Interfaith and Canberra Multicultural Forums, will give the opening address.

Europe on Demand,” at Tuggeranong Arts Centre 10am-4pm? May 26 – 28. Participants will be encouraged to make a gold coin donation. All proceeds will be donated to?the ? Refugee Action Coalition.Those who wish to take part in it but cannot attend can email their choices to ?europeondemand@outlook.com?


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