Far-right party's campaign posters turned into pro-refugee messages

Far-right party's campaign posters turned into pro-refugee messages
The electoral campaign posters of the anti-immigration Vlaams Belang were turned into a "positive" message to welcome refugees in Belgium. Credit: © Belga

Pro-refugee posters from the far-right Vlaams Belang party were put on display in a central Brussels building on Tuesday, putting a spin on the party's anti-migration slogans used to mobilise voters during the recent electoral campaign.

Put up in the building of the Beursschouwburg, a cultural centre in the heart of the city, the four posters took the party's "our people first" slogan used to promote its anti-migration stance and transformed it into "[and] also our people."

The posters were modified and put on display by the refugee nonprofit Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen and an advertisement company.

"In our Flanders, there is no place for a slogan like 'Our people first'", the organisations told Bruzz. "Our message is that we are in favour of a warm and hospitable Flanders where refugees are also welcome."

The organisers' move comes after the far-right party made big gains during the elections in May by campaigning on an anti-migration and anti-refugee platform.

The portraits and stories of four refugees who started over in Belgium can be seen in the posters, and the organisers also distributed smaller flyers with more stories.

Additionally, the posters are part of a larger project in which the organisers made podcasts out of the stories of refugees. The podcasts, available on the campaign's website, also link certain words in the refugees' stories to a hateful Tweet.

"This way, it becomes clear how the testimonies of these people face reactions of hate and intolerance," the organisers said, adding that they had chosen to turn these negative messages into something positive.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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