Deep Space 8K: Post Refugee City

Hannes Seebacher (AT), Kilian Kleinschmidt (DE), Lukas Maximilian Hüller (AT), Robert Pöcksteiner (AT)
THU September 3, 2015, 11 AM - 12 noon
FRI September 4, 2015, 3 PM - 4 PM
SAT September 5 - MON September 7, 2015, 11 AM - 11:30 AM
Deep Space, Ars Electronica Center
Ars Electronica Center

Post Refugee City records the realities of everyday life in a refugee camp — in this case, Al Zaatari in Jordan — and represents an effort to find new ways to deal with such modern-day mass migration.
Artist Lukas Maximilian Hüller (AT) and Hannes Seebacher (AT) launched Let The Children Play in 2000. It has since made a name for itself worldwide as a way to sustainably raise awareness of children’s rights. The point of departure was an elaborately staged mock-up of Children’s Games, a 1560 painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The Al Zaatari refugee camp has since imparted a new direction to the project.

Art as a Means of Survival

Here, Hüller and Seebacher encountered children going through an extreme situation — life in a refugee camp — and got them involved in a photography project designed to underscore human beings’ inherent worth and dignity and to employ art as a means of survival. 60,000 children live in Al Zaatari, the world’s third-largest refugee camp with a total population of 100,000. Amidst what had recently been a wasteland devoid of human beings, an entire generation is suffering from the consequences of violence and displacement.


That hopelessness isn’t all that prevails here is demonstrated by Snapshots in Time, a documentary by filmmaker Robert Pöcksteiner (AT). It reports — without commentary — how these people, mortally afraid, fled from neighboring Syria, and how they now deal with their fate and pass the time each day. It’s also an account of the words and deeds of Kilian Kleinschmidt, the UN representative who had previously been in charge of this refugee city, and a man totally committed to making it a place fit for human beings under these precarious circumstances.