18 September 2019
S.M.A.K. flags refugees
A flag symbolises identity and a national sense of pride. But at S.M.A.K, they thought one could also make a flag based on emotions and values. With this artistic project that seeks to understand the other, the museum gave refugees their own personal banner.
Last spring, graphic designer Edouard Schneider and fifteen Belgian youngsters, still in secondary education, travelled to the borders of Europe to meet refugees, visiting camps in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Hungary.
In a mini workshop, Schneider had each refugee put together their own flag, based on three key concepts that he or she could select. Schneider: Most refugees looked for clues in the realm of intimacy, choosing love, family and friends. Remarkably often, though, they also mentioned respect, creativity or a message of hope. Next, refugees would choose a colour and a pattern. I then converted that material into an image, an artistic collage, happily ignoring all the rules and codes involved with making a proper coat of arms. 'I did stick to one principle, however: a flag should not be overly complex, and its effectiveness comes with the use of large surfaces'.
De Standaard. Article: Geert Van der Speeten.
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