On Friday (September 30), the Hungarian parliament in Budapest set the scene for a rally organisers have named ‘See the human!’
Hundreds gathered with slogans calling for a humane Hungary. During the course of the rally, local artists took part in a performance they called ‘Testimony’ in which they created a piece of artwork called ‘Aleppo’, to remember victims of the Syrian war.
“This picture, the artwork created and this gesture goes far beyond the referendum. The vote is a shameful mark on my country’s history, and I think it causes deep injury that we have to start to heal.”
Hungary is to vote on Sunday (October 2) in a referendum on the EU’s controversial refugee quotas. Opponents of the vote see it as a cover-up to divert attention away from perceived government corruption.
“We have to see the human in the refugees and not the bad things. We don’t agree with the government, which in the last few months has been preparing and carrying out a hate campaign,” one attendee said.
Another man took his baby daughter to the demonstration.
“What we’ve discovered is that many people can be turned into fanatics, which is horrifying. And we think – especially with the baby in my arms – that we want her to live in a more normal country. So it is important to be here,” he told euronews.
The organisers hope the artwork will travel the world, encouraging others to make their own work on Aleppo, until there is peace in Syria. Its first stop will be Serbia.
Their aim, they say, is to send the message that love and acceptance do not mean danger.