An estimated 4.1 million people are homeless in cities across Europe. Some even resort to living in sewers, generally because they have nowhere else to go.
Milan-based artist Biancoshock wants to raise awareness about this homeless hardship. In his latest installation, “Borderlife,” he turned three abandoned manholes into small decorated rooms. With the realistic-looking yet cramped homes, he hopes to help people empathise with what it’s like to live underground.
Each manhole has a different themes: one’s a kitchen, another’s a living room, and the last is a bathroom. A tiny blue shelf lines on the floral wall in the kitchen:
A robe hangs in the tiled bathroom:
And a Raphael angel baby painting rests on the wall in the living room:
Although the redesigned manholes are in the Italian cities of Milan and Lodi, he tells Tech Insider that he was inspired by Bucharest, a city where some 6,000 people live in sewers. As Citylab notes, many grew up in Romania’s abusive orphanages or are struggling with addictions and HIV/AIDS.
The haunting work is meant to highlight those who live on the outskirts of society, both literally and figuratively, Biancoshock says.
“If some problems can not be avoided, [at least] make them comfortable,” he writes.