This article presents the artistic works of two Romanian painters, Paul Hitter and Eugen Raportoru. The paintings bring together a collaborative installation called Nigel’s Dream (And The Loonies Have Taken Over The Asylum). They are a testament of true Balkan expressionism.
The artistic manifesto produced by the artists is motivated by a political statement issued by Mr. Nigel Farage (ex-leader of UKIP, promoter of Vote Leave campaign) concerning Romanian immigrants living and working in the UK: “Any normal and fair-minded person would have a perfect right to be concerned if a group of Romanian people suddenly moved in next door.” — Nigel Farage, May 16, 2014, LBC Radio.
The artists have written an open letter to Mr. Nigel Farage as a response to a series of fallacious arguments propagated in the media in regards to Romanian people, East-Europeans, immigration and Brexit using an inflammatory rhetoric.
The artists’ vision regarding the United Kingdom and London’s Buckingham Palace is an ethnical dystopian scenario to suit the image constructed by UK’s public opinion about Romanians and East-Europeans.
An Open Letter To Mr. Nigel Farage From Two Romanian Artists
Dear Mr. Nigel Farage,
Congratulations on your victory with Britain’s EU membership referendum (Brexit, 23 June 2016), it is of historical relevance and worldwide resonance. United Kingdom’s European disunion will hopefully due favor your country regain its national self-confidence.
The Vote Leave campaign has addressed the negative effects of Europeanization and globalization as they impacted the UK resulting in: increased immigration, reduced rates of employment for honest hard-working British people, a need to share social benefits, also a growth in prices, not to mention cultural dissolution. Your campaign has tapped into a generalised disillusionment with the political establishment, both from the inside and outside of UK.
With the UK having voted to leave the EU, your political ambition has been achieved. You have secured your right of self-determination, it is the conquest of sovereignity. You have won the independence to govern UK progressively from within. Truthfully, you have won the independence to go see a man about a dog. And you should feel proud about it.
Maybe throw a party.
The vision of an European Union to champion free trade, movement of capital, movement of people across borders brings forth a narrative of social, political and cultural freedom. It encourages interaction across diverse communities, the tolerance and integration of immigrants, multiculturalism, a shared understanding of common continental goals.
The concept of a common European market is of tactical and strategic value. However, considering that the costs of UK’s EU membership outweigh the benefits of the EU’s single market, it stands to reason the UK should part ways with EU. Forty years since Britain’s first attempt to exit the European Economic Community (1975), you have succesfully Brexited.
Nice one, really.
A time to start anew dawns upon Britain. You will no longer be bothered by a massive future influx of Romanians knocking at your gates. No longer will tens of thousands of Romanian IT experts, scientists, engineers, inventors, doctors or creative professionals migrate to UK to steal British jobs. No longer will we clean your streets, tend your greens, cater your fish and chips, assist your elderly, heal your sickly, educate your young, pay your taxes, contribute to the growth of UK. It is now a task for your native workforce to employ.
In your own words, Mr. Nigel Farage,
“Any normal and fair-minded person would have a perfect right to be concerned if a group of Romanian people suddenly moved in next door.”
You have to understand, Mr. Farage, we are a civilised country, standing proudly on the forefront of European culture. You have to understand that Britain is developing an absolutely toxic public opinion on immigration expressed using an inflammatory rhetoric that speaks in volumes about UK’s generalized xenophobic tendencies that lead to acts of racial assaults. You are nurturing an ungrateful and resentful nation of hypocrites. Your politicians link Romanians with „a natural propensity towards crime”.
We find that you are uncivilised and disrespectful.
The presence of Romanians in your country is the result of the demand of the British market. We are employed by your companies to work the jobs your young generation cannot handle professionally. Romanians do not put a strain on the social and health systems because most of them are aged 18-35, with a few requiring health care or claiming social assistance. 62% have no dependents and 32% have only one child. From the total number of 40,171 child benefit claims in respect of children living in another EU country, only 324 went to Romanian children – it’s negligible. In short, they are net contributors to the public purse, not a drain.
This manifesto we present you, Mr. Farage, means nothing but a dream. It represents the works of two Romanian painters, Paul Hitter and Eugen Raportoru. It is a dream that shows you cannot barrage freedom of expression. The paintings are a testament of true Balkan expressionism.
The artists’ vision regarding the United Kingdom is an ethnical dystopian scenario to suit the image constructed by your public opinion about Romanians and East-Europeans. You have to understand, Mr. Farage, there is no direct correlation between Gypsies (Romas) and Romanians, yet you fail to make the distinction. Any educated person should be able to grasp that Romas are an ethnicity, while Romanians are a nationality. It is true that most Gypsies (Romas) own Romanian passports, yet since they are a nomadic ethnical group, they are registered all over this world. Good news for you, then. You no longer have to allow a free pass way to the UK for economic migrants.
They have already taken over. The loonies have taken over the asylum.
This manifesto we present you, Mr. Farage, means nothing but a nightmare. The sort of nightmare that will prove itself a reality — of cultural and political bias, of social engineering gone seriously wrong, of an exclusionary and intolerant society that cannot educate its own people in the virtues of multiculturalism, tolerance, acceptance, inclusion, integration, civic education.
The Leave (and Remain) campaigns failed to convey the full implications. Apart from numerous future political and economic problems, you will find that Brexit has been addressing the fear and alienation present within the people of UK. It is a fear that you have lost your identity, you have lost your territory, you have lost the voice of your people, the youth of your generation, the working class, the upper class, the no-class. It is a fear of division within your own ranks. You have a duty of care towards the people of United Kingdom.
And with Brexit, you have breached it.
Your dream is now a reality.
A question we ask: What have you accomplished?
We present these works of art for your viewing pleasure.
Until we can sustain a cultivated dialogue, we bid you pip pip, old chap!
Yours truly, The Remainians,
Nigel’s Dream: And The Loonies Have Taken Over The Asylum
We present an artistic manifesto that means nothing but a