In Depth

Fury over artwork inviting visitors to pose as Jihadi John victims

Installation by 22-year-old Anne Bothmer imitates a fairground picture board with face holes

A Dutch artist is facing criticism for an art installation that gives visitors the chance to pose as the victims of Mohammed Emwazi, the Islamic State terrorist known as Jihadi John, who was filmed beheading prisoners.

The piece, Phantom Pain, went on show at the Gogbot art and music festival in Enschede last week and “is an imitation of a fairground picture board with face holes”, says The Times.

Emwazi is shown wielding a knife and preparing to cut the throat of whoever puts their face in the hole.

One critic said that Anne Bothmer’s work “needlessly brought festival visitors, including children, face to face with terrorism”, adds the paper.

But Bothmer defended her right to stimulate discussion through a provocative approach, saying that “lorries driving into crowds, bombings and shootings” caused a “massive stream of irrational reactions”.

She said: “As a spectator of these attacks we do not want to experience it, but we want to be part of it. The overarching tone of the messages within the aftermath amplifies a feeling of collective victimisation by European citizens.

“However, in comparison there were only a few who were really present at the attacks and the rest of Europe only perceived them through cinematic and photographic imagery.”

As soon as the work was unveiled “local politicians from different parties called for the removal of the IS artwork”, reports the Daily Mail.

Arjan Brouwer, of Democratic Platform Enschede, said: “We call urgently upon the mayor to act and remove this element of Gogbot immediately from the event.

“This picture of genocide does not belong at this event and needlessly confronts our inhabitants and children with terrorism, human suffering and traumatic experiences which they went through in the country they fled from.”

The festival organisation and the mayor of Enschede are yet to respond.

Recommended

What is Donald Trump doing now?
Donald Trump
In Depth

What is Donald Trump doing now?

Who will win the 2022 French election?
French President Emmanuel Macron
In Focus

Who will win the 2022 French election?

Most U2 songs make Bono ‘cringe’
Bono
Tall Tales

Most U2 songs make Bono ‘cringe’

‘Porkie pie plot to ditch the PM’
Today's newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Porkie pie plot to ditch the PM’

Popular articles

Best new TV crime dramas of 2022
Hidden Assets BBC
In Depth

Best new TV crime dramas of 2022

Why is the UK in pole position to emerge from Covid-19 first?
A woman wearing a face mask waits for the tube in London
Today’s big question

Why is the UK in pole position to emerge from Covid-19 first?

Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: career records and grand slams
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have all won 20 grand slam singles titles
Profile

Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: career records and grand slams

The Week Footer Banner