Controversial photoshoot removed from internet after accusations of glamorising refugees

Hungarian freelance photographer, Norbert Baska’s, attempt to raise awareness to the migrant issues in Europe-failed to receive the response he had hoped for.

Norbert Baska’s shoot “Der Migrant” was believed to have been produced in order to raise awareness and help the current refugee and migrant situation. The photographs were taken at a location on the border of Hungary and Croatia due to the intense migrant issues in that particular area. The 13 images went live on Baska’s website on October 6th and very quickly sparked up a rage across social media.

Photographs taken include images of model Monika Jablonczky wearing a headscarf and designer items (such as a Chanel phone case) posing contentiously next to barbed wire fences. Other images from the shoot include her being dragged by two male border officers. Baska told The Mirror “The pictures are not meant to ‘glamourise’ a bad situation”.

Twitter users have responded to the shoot having branded it “sick” and “tasteless” referring to it as “migrant chic” whereas Baska refers to it as “art”.

Despite all of Baska’s negative feedback he still attempted to justify his shoot before it was removed from the internet. He posted on his website “I hoped people would realize that the situation is very complex and see that they are taking stands based on partial or biased information. I do not understand how people can take a clear stand (pro or con) while we are flooded with contradictory information through the media, so no one has extensive knowledge of the situation as a whole. This is exactly what we wanted to picture: you see a suffering woman, who is also beautiful and despite her situation, has some high quality pieces of outfit and a smartphone.”

While still receiving harsh criticism since taking his photographs down, Baska elucidated on his website his reluctance to do the photoshoot. He claimed that as a general rule he tends to avoid political topics for his work and in his “about me” section is specifically states that he specializes in “fashion and glamour photography, portraits, commercial photography and cinema advertisements”

This is the advertisement image for the shoot.

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