This spring, the Red Star Line Museum welcomed the Hungarian-Syrian artist Róza El-Hassan with her art installation Breeze 2017. She has built a dome in the museum with which she reflects on the meaning of ‘migration, coming home and belonging”.
The art installation by the Hungarian - Syrian artist Róza El-Hassan is a search for answers to practical and existential questions about migration, coming home and belonging. She has built a dome for the Red Star Line Museum, which acts as a model for a community building or school in Syria. Drawings and sculptures are exhibited around the dome. The installation also includes spherical hanging gardens displayed in dew banks, which are mechanisms designed to extract water from the air. The dome stands in the center of a colored orbit representing a design for a real shelter. The 'orbit' takes a cosmological round shaped form, like the sun in the middle of the planets.
In collaboration with Breeze 2017, The Red Star Line Museum is due to launch the Fieldworkers project. The museum aims to expand and update its collection about migrants by way of recent life stories and migration heritage. For this reason, the museum is searching for willing individuals who are immersed in our diverse society to collect stories from people who migrated to Antwerp. After intensive training in oral history and heritage care, the ‘fieldworkers’ will be on their way. The first stories will be based around the theme ‘child refugees’. A lot of stories in the museum are about children who escaped poverty, discrimination and violence at the turn of the twentieth century. Even after World War II, countless families escaped to Belgium because of the unstable situation in their home countries. To this day, more than half of the refugees worldwide are children. Their stories are the heritage of tomorrow.
Róza El-Hassan Biography
Having gained recognition with the exhibition “Stretched Objects” and her conceptual work and drawing, the Budapest based artist has gradually become an artist with a deep social commitment, working in the fields of performance, lectures and figurative sculptures. Having witnessed numerous human disasters, she has worked with some of the most vulnerable people; Syrian refugees and Hungarian Roma communities. During the Balkan war, El-Hassan introduced mediation projects. Since 2001 she has been a member of the Jewish – Arab peace movement and often holds mediations in the form of lectures, performances and actions. She has also reawakened ancient crafts and techniques of endangered communities to rescue cultural and human values. The social engagement of her work as an object artist is significant. Her figurative objects create a strong individual language and spatial presence. Since 2011 she has designed ecological shelters and buildings made of adobe.