Image: Art by Giovanni Battista Piranesi at the Minneapolis Art Institute
(The red circle is added to help you easily find the men reaching out)
SJ volunteers with IAFR's team in Minneapolis/St. Paul. She spends a lot of her time helping out at Jonathan House, an IAFR ministry offering shelter, community and practical help to asylum seekers in the Twin Cities.
SJ recently went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art with one of the Jonathan House residents. He, in turn, invited a friend and fellow asylum seeker to join them.
While there, they came across an exhibition of prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, all of which portrayed convoluted, perspective-defying imaginary prisons.
The Jonathan House resident considered one of the prints (above).
He asked his friend, “What do you think this is a picture of?”
His friend gave several answers: “Conflict. Racism. Social inequality.”
The resident shook his head, and said, “It’s the immigration system.”
Everyone laughed, but he went on to explain.
“The person in chains on the left is an asylum seeker who just arrived and doesn’t know anything about immigration law, and he’s like, ‘Oh, my god! What do I do?’
The lions at the bottom are if you get deported and sent back to your home country.
And here on the right, above the lion, do you see the man reaching out? That’s a refugee. And the other man reaching out to him - is Jonathan House.”
-from Sarah Miller, IAFR Ministry Leader in Minneapolis/St. Paul