MOT/Facebook

The sea-spanning artwork is a commentary on European migration.

In the Maltese town of Sliema there’s an image of a giant man on a building, butt propped up as he crawls into a dark tunnel. Almost 300 miles away, in the coastal Italian burg of Sapri, the dude’s upper half emerges from a different building, an expression of grim determination twisting his face.

This sea-spanning mural is the work of French-born street artist MOT, who painted it as a commentary on his own freakishly long torso. Kidding—the piece, “The Mediterranean Door,” references the arduous and often risky journey of migrants heading to Europe for a new beginning, according to Sky.

The tiny island of Malta has received bad press in the past for not accepting migrants. The Malta Independent quotes an Italian lawyer speaking on the subject:

“Instead, the Maltese send the asylum seekers to Italy. When a boat with 120 migrants wanted to enter the harbour, a motorboat came out, with a cable. Everyone thought the cable would drag the boat into the harbour, but instead it dragged it to Sicily….

Malta is too small to take in thousands of persons. But if someone is in danger at sea, they pick him up: it is not true they push him back in the water. Then they try not to keep him: that is true. They have a pragmatic approach, but not an inhuman one.”

The get-out-of-here-now strategy suggests the Maltese authorities might be interested in MOT’s imagined technology: a gaping hole you push nomads in to magically send them to far-off shores.

MOT/Facebook

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  2. Equity

    Berlin Builds an Arsenal of Ideas to Stage a Housing Revolution

    The proposals might seem radical—from banning huge corporate landlords to freezing rents for five years—but polls show the public is ready for something dramatic.

  3. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  4. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  5. A photo of a design maquette for the Obama Presidential Center planned for Jackson Park and designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
    Design

    Why the Case Against the Obama Presidential Center Is So Important

    A judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by Chicago preservationists can proceed, dealing a blow to Barack Obama's plans to build his library in Jackson Park.