We all know the Brexit campaign was built on the fear of immigrants. The scapegoats have been Romanian immigrants, who, according to Nigel Farage came here to steal jobs and increase NHS waiting times and quality of care. Of course, according to the campaign, the UK economy would be negatively affected by the fact that healthy young Romanians work here and pay their taxes and probably rarely go to the doctor. It is not because major corporations do not pay their taxes ( see Apple) or that they steal hard working people’s pensions ( see the case of BHS).
Not many people defended Romanians in the British press until now. Two artists, however, have created an artistic project as a response to Nigel Farage’s campaign and statements. The paintings are a collaboration between Paul Hitter and Eugen Raportoru. They are called ” Nigel’s Dream ( And The Loonies Have Taken Over The Asylum) and are motivated by Nigel Farage’s political statement about Romanians living in the UK
“Any normal and fair-minded person would have a perfect right to be concerned if a group of Romanian people suddenly moved in next door.”
The paintings have been created in the Balkanic expressionism style to address the Romanian immigrants situation in the UK and the British toxic public opinion on immigration expressed in the media using language that has determine the population to racial attacks.
The artists have also written a letter to Nigel Farage that states:
You have to understand, Mr. Farage, we are a civilised country, standing proudly on the forefront of European culture. You have to understand that Britain is developing an absolutely toxic public opinion on immigration expressed using an inflammatory rhetoric that speaks in volumes about UK’s generalized xenophobic tendencies that lead to acts of racial assaults. You are nurturing an ungrateful and resentful nation of hypocrites. Your politicians link Romanians with „a natural propensity towards crime”.
We find that you are uncivilised and disrespectful.
The presence of Romanians in your country is the result of the demand of the British market. We are employed by your companies to work the jobs your young generation cannot handle professionally. Romanians do not put a strain on the social and health systems because most of them are aged 18-35, with a few requiring health care or claiming social assistance. 62% have no dependents and 32% have only one child. From the total number of 40,171 child benefit claims in respect of children living in another EU country, only 324 went to Romanian children – it’s negligible. In short, they are net contributors to the public purse, not a drain.
The paintings are a caricature and represent Nigel’s nightmare – British Royal Guards as Roma people in a camp that took over Buckingham Palace.
The paintings can be seen on September 7 at the Kube Musette gallery, Calea Victoriei 114, Bucharest. The event will start at 7.00 p.m.
Event page: Nigel’s dream in Bucharest
The project’s website: nigelsdream.com
Project facebook page: Nigel’s dream