The Swedish based furniture retailer IKEA ist famous for its showrooms. In these perfectly arranged interior design fantasies one can easily picture oneself in these really comfortable surroundings. But in the company’s flagship store in Slependen in Norway the usual display of home comfort has been exchanged with a powerful reminder. IKEA has recently partnered with the Red Cross to transform one of their signature spaces into a replica of what a current Syrian home would look like.
The installation is called 25m2 of Syria and nothing here is the picture perfect home one is accustomed to seeing in IKEA. It tries to be an depiction of a home just outside of Damascus, the capital of the war ridden country of Syria. It tries to be as honest as it can be within the restraints of still having to operate a giant furniture store. Within the cinder block walls lives a woman named Rana and her family of nine. The atmosphere is dismal—its residents lack the basic necessities like food, medicine, and clean water—making it a solemn reminder of this ongoing humanitarian crisis.
The installation was created by advertising agency POL as a way to promote Norway’s annual fundraiser called TV-aksjonen, which has pledged its donations this year to aid those living in war and conflict zones.