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Documentation from process

The thin ice will not carry our weight (Malak)


Sculpture, Bronze 2009-2011

Text by Knutte Wester


It is 2009. Malak is five years old. Together with her family she has fled from Baghdad to the small community of Vännäs. Around the same time, I move my studio to that very village and soon, this family pays me a visit. One night, a few months later, a quarrel in a group of young people in the community escalates. The fight results in a lynch mob, gathering beneath the windows of the asylum seekers. The crowd begins to throw stones.


Malak and her siblings are awakened as their windows are smashed as stones and profanities hail through the night. In panic, all refugees are evacuated. Shortly thereafter, I invite the family over to my studio. They have not gone out for a week, and have already begun to plan a new escape. This time it is an escape from this small community showing such hatred. In the studio, the family and I make plaster casts of Malak and her brother Alamin.


Malak tells, through interpreter, the story about when the window was shattered by stone and the people down the street yelled threatening things she did not understand. She sat in her bed and wished he were somewhere else.

Above: I want to be heard, I want to be found (from exhibition at Örebro Kunsthalll

Below: Detail from sculpture above

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