Immigration waves to Western countries are not only ‘manageable’ (i.e. in terms of sufficient space and resources to accept immigrants); rather, they continuously bring advances in innovation, knowledge and wealth regeneration, keeping the West leading the most important sectors in modern global economy. Progressive arguments that say the West has a moral responsibility towards immigrants only tell half the story. The West benefits from immigration in critical and measurable ways. Ironically, if migration is bad news it is so only for the rest of the world, as brain drain migration relocates many individuals of critical knowledge and skills from developing societies, where they are more needed, to developed industrialized societies.
In the Human Rights Human Wrongs exhibition at Kunstplass  Fadlabi will show new paintings that depict small events from Down Town Barber’s. This is a small shop near Torggata founded and run by Dagii who migrated from Ethiopia and managed to build the most busy barber shop in Oslo.
In previous years, Fadlabi’s painting research was centered around African barber shop paintings in attempts to connect them with Ethiopian church paintings; so Dagii with his shop seems to be a perfect starting point for a new show that deals with migration, innovation, African painting and Fadlabi’s personal story moving to Norway
It is well known that the Barber Shop is the Universal Social Club. It is where we open up and share our deepest thoughts without fear that our voices and views are unwarranted. Some of the visitors to Dagii’s shop come just to chat or watch the TV in the corner. The paintings will reveal some secrets to you if you haven’t being to a barber shop before, you will be able to participate in the small conversations there.
Fadlabi (b. 1975, Sudan, lives and works in Oslo, Norway) graduated from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2012. He works with painting, texts, and performance. With strong roots in African culture, naïve figuration, expressionism and politic satire are key parameters for Fadlabi’s art. He often questions western norms for art, the European hegemony and the divide between so-called western and non-western art. He has had numerous exhibitions in Norway and abroad. The re-enactment of the Congo Village, a public art project in Frognerparken in Oslo in 2014, created a storm of media attention around Fadlabi and colleague Lars Cuzner. www.fadlabihimself.com
Kunstplass  is gallery for contemporary art in Oslo, Norway. In February 2017 Kunstplass  organises the Human Rights / Human Wrongs Exhibition in Oslo for the 6th consecutive year in collaboration with the Human Rights / Human Wrongs Documentary Film festival.
Through contemporary art we wish to engage, challenge and surprise our audience. We hope that you in experiencing Fadlabi’s exhibition Down Town Barber Shop get an opportunity to discuss, reflect and contemplate about humanity, immigration and migration, and universal human rights/wrongs.
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