From the European Financial to the Humanitarian Refugee Crisis. Visualized Imagination of Crisis.

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 13 (Juridicum)
Distributed Paper
Julien BUCHER, TU Chemnitz, Germany
Anja WELLER, TU Chemnitz, Germany
A visual research project at a saxonian Gymnasium aimed especially at the subject and the abilitiy of self-reflection in the context of localities. The localities regarded are the city Chemnitz were they went to school and the vague and elusive entity – the continent Europe. During the project in 2010 the eruption of the islandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull happened and the US subprime crisis began to effect the European financial system. These historical occurrences influences the pupils in a way we didn’t predetermine and got clearly visible in the pictures the pupils in the age of 11 to 19 years drew. The pupils not only integrated these topics in the pictures, the depictions are connotated differently and adress the feelings regarding these crisises and visualize imaginations of the humanitarian implications (Appadurai 2010).

With this visual power in mind we got the opportunity to start a new visual research project with refugees of different states of origin that just landed in German detention camps 2 months ago. We used a similar research design, following our hypothesis, that when the crisis is not directly addressed and we instead give them basic instructions, we’ll get more personal, unbiased and deeper insights. Our object was to get to know the experiences in the escape and long journey they had and also the expectations for their stay. The results affirmed the hypothesis and it was shown, that there is a big difference in the visual and verbal mode especially when you think of cultural differences and the emotional feelings of the refugees, which they weren´t able to address verbally.

For both projects we use a Blog and Twitter account to publish the results, which is an easy way to spread the detailed and colorful pictures and to enrich them with content, comments and hashtags.