IKEA, the Swedish flat-pack furniture retailer, has unveiled a poignant new installation called '25 Square Metres of Syria' in its flagship Norwegian location. The installation is a replica of an apartment in Damascus, and it is meant to give shoppers the opportunity to see authentic living conditions in war-torn Syria.
IKEA stores are notable for their showrooms, which are completely furnished rooms featuring the company's own products. 25 Square Metres of Syria plays off of this aspect of IKEA's stores, explaining the various impoverished aspects of a typical apartment in Syria with the same placards that normally adorn IKEA's comparatively luxurious products.
25 Square Metres of Syria is inspired by a real Syrian apartment -- that of a woman named Rana who lived in a similar space with her four children.