Moving People: Helping Highlight the Plight of Refugees with 3D Printing & Guerrilla Street Art

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Moving People statuesAt this moment, there are approximately 13,000 asylum seekers who have been given refugee status in the Netherlands and are awaiting new homes.

While many there argue there is insufficient social housing to meet quotas set by the government, the problem will only become more complex as a further 13,000 refugee permits are expected to be approved there over the next six months. The refugees include people from war-torn Syria, Eritrea, Iran and Iraq.

The Power of Art House is an artistic collective and a think tank of designers, socio-cultural entrepreneurs, producers and creative thinkers. They say they believe in a world where borders are fading – a sort of human form of globalization.

Street-Art-Project-Moving-People-Irak-3Their projects, they call them creative interventions and campaigns, are used as “an artistic weapon” to combat indifference. The idea is that, by opening people’s eyes to the stories of others, they can instill empathy, reinforce social cohesion and make connections between people.

Those “interventions” are meant to be useful strategies to increase awareness — and to make it happen, they use street art in public spaces. The collective also provides tools, products and gadgets which citizens use to express their support and make their voices heard against injustice.

One of the group’s latest projects is series of 3D printed and then cast models for an upcoming guerrilla street art project they call Moving People.

The models, miniature dolls of refugees, will be on display in the Dutch cities Amsterdam and the Hague during the end of August and into early September.EMQ7bXF920qc7e9O

Placed on park benches, at stations, bus stops, on road signs, at traffic lights, in windowsills, in malls and in office areas, the 3D printed images are meant to increase community involvement in the Netherlands with the problems faced by refugees.

Street-Art-Project-Moving-People-Baby Moving People is about “unwanted persons.” The Power of Art House says the idea is that by using the tiny models, they can make the refugees visible and help tell their stories. It’s meant to “open eyes, strengthen empathy and social cohesion, and make connections and to show people a different way to look at refugees as fellow human beings.”

Built using 3D scans of ten former refugees, the ten-centimeter-high 3D figurines are posed in such a way as to help translate their stories into the visual. Each of the figures has within its clothing a reference to the website movingpeople.nu. The figures were all cast from 3D printed molds and then hand painted.

Each of the figures, because they’ve been 3D scanned and printed, will be replicated 1,001 times “so every story on 1001 places in the city can be told.”

Ultimately, it’s hoped that the project will include 10,010 figurines, and it was undertaken in collaboration with the Pantar homeless shelter.

The project is being financed via crowdfunding project, and The Power of Art House says they could still use additional funding which you can commit here.

What do you think about this guerrilla street art project, Moving People, which is aimed at helping the citizens of a pair of Dutch cities empathize with the plight of refugees in their midst. Let us know what you think in the Moving People forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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