Samaneh Roghani

For Magdalena Bonculescu et al

Ink on tracing paper, 60 × 40 cm


Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.

If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.

If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.

—Saadi Shirazi, “Golestan” (1258), translated by M. Aryanpour

In 2015 a group of European migrants were living in tough conditions in Malmö. Several of them had settled on an empty lot and built makeshift shelters from what they could find, to endure the winds and rains. Eventually, the municipality of the city decided to evict the people from the camp, during the cold season and without providing any alternative for them. The people who unfortunately are shunned and already unwelcome in this society. Magdalena, a woman with worried but hopeful eyes, was one of those who were kicked out from their homes.

As a member of this society I felt ashamed. Shame on rigid legal systems and shame on the views of the society, of which I am myself a part! Being silent in these kinds of situations just adds insult to injury.