Safe European Home? ; thoughts on identity, discrimination and our common European heritage

Article published on Nov. 17, 2015
Article published on Nov. 17, 2015

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

An excellent initiative, an ongoing project and a question critical as never before; How safe is our European Home? And does this safety apply for all on the same level?

This question sought to answer British artists Delaine & Damian Le Bas starting from Vienna in May 2011 and enriching their conjectural actions and initiatives ever since prompted both by social reality and their own experiences as well. Their artistic installations express fruitful criticism on contemporary European policy on selective home and shelter offer. 

Refugees and asylum seekers knock on the doors of the European states only to be treated like rubbish without even a rubbish bin to find refuge in. Deported late at night with a small bag of possessions back to a country where all you remember is persecution, hate, death and where your children do not even speak the language. Imagine that? Put yourself in that place. Imagine you don’t have a Safe European Home?”

Delaine Le Bas: Safe European Home?-Magazine,

Produced for Safe European Home? Vienna 2011

Some of the main objectives are informing and awakening the audience on a daily yet invisible case, questioning on racism and discrimination issues , pointing out the artification of borders and deconstructing the fiction of otherness in Europe today.

“The walls we encounter do not always have a physical presence. When human beings face each other without empathy, walls can be invisible. In a culture where much is expressed through gesture and body language, people learn to detect the presence of walls the can not see. Denying their existence is futile.”

Text for the Walls Can Be Invisible

By Damian James Le Bas & Delaine Le Bas

Their visual language establishes an interactive relationship between the public and their works , raising questions and societal concerns. Art is not only pleasing. It becomes the most direct mean of awareness and mobilization at a time when our only hope is the Other, the Neighbor, the Outlander. 

 If you want to keep something in mind, underline this;  

“The history of Safe European Home?  Is part of all our pasts, present and possible futures.”

Delaine Le Bas, September 2013

Delaine Le Bas is cross practice artist working with installation, costume, performance, photography, film and sound. She was one of sixteen artists who were part of the First Roma Pavilion Paradise Lost Venice Biennale 2007. Delaine has exhibited extensively in major art galleries internationally.

Damian James Le Bas has worked extensively with maps and cartographies exploring the character of the –stateless- Gypsy community and questioning the ideas of nationalism, belonging and identity. He’s part of the Outsider and Art Brut movements since the 1980’s and he has exhibited in major art galleries internationally. He was one of sixteen artists who were part of the First Roma Pavilion Paradise Lost Venice Biennale 2007.

They also participated in Diasporas (11-18/10/2015, Thessaloniki-Greece) , an art project on the diachronic migrational and diasporic side of Thessaloniki and an attempt to capture the heterogeneity of contemporary social realities, as they are morphed through the experience of human mobility and its collective remembrance.