A Hungarian fashion photographer has come under fire for a fashion shoot inspired by refugees and migrants, featuring a beautiful model pretending to cross a wire fence as if she was a Syrian refugee.
Norbert Baksa, a freelance photographer who works among others with Elle and Cosmopolitan magazines, shot several posed pictures of the model Monika Jablonczky being pulled by police at the fence, taking a selfie with a phone with the Chanel logo, wearing flowery dresses, Zara jumpsuits, boots, and heels.
Many people on Twitter blasted the photographer's shoot, entitled Der Migrant, as tasteless as it seemingly glamorizes a painful and desperate situation that thousands faced at the border with European countries, especially Hungary.
Baksa defended his work on his website saying that he hoped people would realise that the situation is "very complex" and see "that they are taking stands based on partial or biased information".
"This is exactly what we wanted to picture: you see a suffering woman, who is also beautiful and despite her situation, has some high quality pieces of outfit and an smartphone," he said, adding that the did not want to offend anybody but rather "draw the attention to the complexity of these people's problem".
"To people who said I am stupid, I can only say they should examine the problem from different angles, all the more that they do not live in Hungary, so they do not experience it first hand. It is very difficult to understand from the news coverage whether these people are indeed refugees or something else," he said.
In September, Hungarian camerawoman Petra Lszlo was fired after being filmed deliberately tripping up a Syrian refugee carrying a child near the Serbian border. Lszlo, from the local TV station N1TV, was caught on camera while kicking refugees, including a young girl.
On 21 September, Hungary's parliament approved a controversial law that authorises the wider use of the military to fend off migrants gathering on its borders. The legislation allows the army to use non-lethal weapons such as rubber bullets, pyrotechnical devices, tear gas, grenades and net guns.
The tough measure is just the latest in a series of controversial bids to stop an influx of desperate migrants into the country. Last week, Hungarian police started to build a 25-mile razor wire fence on the border with Croatia, armed by hundreds of troops. "We must implement the same measures as on the Serbian-Hungarian border," Orban said in reference to the 10-ft fence built on the country's frontier with Serbia that diverted the flow of migrants towards Croatia and Slovenia.