Political journey

Manaf Halbouni – Nowhere is Home

Manaf Halbouni, Nowhere is Home, 2015 / 2020, car, various objects, installation, 300 x 300 x 130 cm, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, Courtesy of the artist & Zilberman, Istanbul / Berlin, photo: Manaf Halbouni

Nowhere is Home refers to the Pegida demonstrations of 2015. Growing up in Syria, Halbouni first studied sculpture at the University of Damascus before he left Syria in 2008 and continued his studies at the University of Fine Arts in Dresden, the very city at which the Pegida movement originated. 

A VW Polo loaded with personal possessions shows what a refugee’s situation could be like from a German perspective. There is room for a suitcase, household items, a bicycle, garden dwarfs, a TV, and a box of beer. Despite the clichés, Halbouni’s work signifies that the escape is forced and not made on the individual’s own initiative. And at times, the living space is limited to a car during the search for a new home.