A Paper Monument for the Paperless

Document the undocumented

A Paper Monument for the Paperless

Call for action: Order a set of posters and raise a paper monument!

Wanted: street artists, activists, civil-disobedient and cheerful wheatpasters for the raise of “A Paper Monument for the Paperless”.

A Paper Monument for the Paperless’ is a monument in the making, which should generate more visibility and attention to undocumented refugees. Anyone can make a contribution by requesting an A2 size poster set (in the form of a newspaper with 31 woodcut portraits of these refugees, made by a diverse group of artists and illustrators) and pasting them around or offering them to their local politicians.

We worked with “We Are Here” which is a group comprising refugees living in Amsterdam. Due to neither being entitled to social housing nor allowed to work, its members are often forced to live on the street. The group decided to make visible the inhumane situation in which they live, no longer hiding, but showing the situation of refugees that are ‘out of procedure’ in The Netherlands. Thanks to the collective power of the refugees and the help of many supporters, the group has already existed for around four years. (Source: http://wijzijnhier.org/)

We have reserved 25 sets of 800 posters, to spread and paste through cities in and beyond Europe .
Contact social artist and initiator Domenique Himmelsbach de Vries: info@himmelsbach.nl if you want to spread the posters, also stating which city you would like to distribute them, and adding your mailing address and the number of posters you would like to receive (given that we are a not-for-profit initiative, we ask for a small donation for shipping).

It’s also possible to make an appointment to pick up the newspapers in Amsterdam, for free.

If you have information about potential co-distributors, poster pasters or other interested parties, please inform them by sharing this call.


Video by Elisa Grasso

Guerrilla pasting opposite Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Photo by Manette Ingenegeren, We Are Here reunion, organised in cooperation with Diana Krabbendam (The Beach), Jo van der Spek  (M2M), Manette Ingenegeren

Original website description, A paper monument for the Paperless

Together with a group of 19 artists, I initiated A Paper Monument For the Paperless, a series of 60 engraved in wood portraits of paperless migrants. Made for the purpose of printing in large quantities and pasting them up through the city streets.

The project literally gives a face to undocumented refugees. Undocumented migrants are seen as invaders, they are locked up in prisons and their individuality is stripped away. The monument is an attempt to raise awareness about their plight in the Netherlands.

The project mobilizes the street as its medium to critically explore freedom of movement and its curtailment. To activate its presence in public space, the project relies heavily on the engagement of citizens. They are stimulated to spread the posters through the city streets of Europe and beyond. The performative body therefore plays a crucial role in this work. The (illegal) distribution and pasting of the posters places the body in a vulnerable and at the same time activist position. It performs acts that are punishable, hoping to bring about social change and standing together with socially excluded communities. In this sense, it is a performance of civil disobedience.

Realised with the help of artists and makers:
Maria Vera Alvarez, Chiel te Bokkel, Maurice van Daalen, Loes Degener, Joost Eijkholt, Cathelijn van Goor, Elisa Grasso, Heleen van der Hoogt, Jeffry Koopman, Janneke Kragt, Annika Lelivelt, Prosper de Roos, Mariska Schomper, Rutger van der Tas, Fabiola Veerman, Vera Verseput, Jurga Zelvyte, Judith Zwaan

London, Zanzibar and Brussels

IMG_6947b zwWoodcut workshop at Vluchtflat / We Are Here collective

IMG_6960b zw

Art fair KunstRAI / ArtRAi, representing Rob Malasch, (Gallery Serieuze Zaken / WOW Amsterdam)