Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fashion Photographer Defends Migrant-Themed Editorial

Photo: Norbert Baksa via BBC

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

A Hungarian photographer is standing by his migrant-themed fashion editorial, even though he took the photos off his website due to online outrage. Yahoo Style notes that negative reactions about the so-called "migrant chic" photoshoot on social media included comments like "Disgusting & distasteful campaign" from Syrian freelance photographer Sima Diab. Photographer Simon Bush wrote, "Well now this is utterly sick."

The images show model Monika Jablonczky taking selfies in front of barbed wire. Her phone is in a Chanel case. In another shot, she's shown being dragged away against her will.

According to the BBC, photographer Norbert Baksa included a statement on his website that said that he wanted viewers to see "a suffering woman, who is also beautiful and despite her situation has some high-quality pieces of outfit and a smartphone." He also said that he had tried to "respect people's faith and conviction and not to cross certain boundaries."

Baksa said he didn't intend to glamorize the plight of migrants in Europe. According to USA Today, he wrote on his site: "I usually refuse to deal with political topics, but this situation affects the daily lives of virtually everybody in Hungary." He called his work art, writing: "Artists around the world regularly attract the public's attention to current problems through 'shocking' installations and pictures. This is another example of such art."

After removing the photos from his website, Baksa gave a statement to the BBC: "We have experienced a lot of negative feedback since the publication of our photo series Der Migrant, although more and more people recognise the true message behind the pictures and agree with it." He said, "Considering the heated emotions and because, despite our intentions, many unfortunately consider the pictures offending, we have decided to remove the series from our website." While the photos aren't on his website anymore, his tweets defending the project are still live.