12 artists from 12 European countries took part in a creative challenge to redraw the notions of democracy and freedom as we see them today, 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Тhe illustrations depict both the progress and challenges facing even long-standing democracies.

 

All developed works are uploaded for free noncommercial use under a Creative Commons license to the dedicated platform for open visual art, TheAmmo.org. Their ever-growing collection of socially engaged illustrations supports social campaigns by activists and nonprofits around the world.

 

Throughout history the intersection between art and activism has played a crucial role in various social movements by spreading the word and igniting people to action. Visual content continues to be of utmost importance for giving visibility and engaging support, and the foundry helps nonprofits that lack the capacity and resources to create it.

 

The artists who teamed up for this project are Anja Slibar (SLOVENIA), Anna Katalin Lovrity (HUNGARY), Boris Pramatarov (BULGARIA), Ena Jurov (CROATIA), Ján Vajsábel (SLOVAKIA), Juste Urbonaviciute a.k.a Kissi Ussuki (LITHUANIA), Maya Sumbadze (GEORGIA), Nvard Yerkanian (ARMENIA), Paul Virlan (ROMANIA), Stefan Mosebach (GERMANY), Varvara Perekrest (UKRAINE) and Zane Zlemesa (LATVIA).

 

The 12 artists worked within the context of Sprints, a creative bootcamp linking up human rights and visual arts, in which artists are briefed on a social issue and then have a very limited time frame to develop and complete a work. The initiative is created and led by Fine Acts, a global platform for socially engaged creative solutions.

 

All their works are published under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 and can be downloaded and used for free at the link below.

More info: theammo.org

Anja Slibar, a Brooklyn-based illustrator from Slovenia

Image credits: fineacts.co

She says: My artwork is a satire of Disney’s Prince Charming as the ultimate handsome man who’s gonna save the girl and save the planet.

Credit: Anja Slibar for Fine Acts.

Stefan Mosebach, graphic designer based in Hamburg and Amsterdam

Image credits: fineacts.co

He says: I wanted to come up with something catchy and fun. And political. So I went for a „high five“ that overcomes a wall. Simple, but it tells the whole story.

Credit: Stefan Mosebach for Fine Acts.

Juste Urbonaviciute (Kissi Ussuki), a freelance illustrator from Lithuania

Image credits: fineacts.co

She says: Walls are being built every day in both a literal and non-literal way – whether it’s Trump proposing to build a wall along the US-Mexican border or governments growing more nationalist.

Credit: Kissi Ussuki for Fine Acts.

Zane Zlemeša, a Berlin-based illustrator and comic author from Latvia

Image credits: fineacts.co

She says: Living in Europe, it is easy to forget about the tools democracy provides. Therefore, in this project I illustrated the toolkit that each of us has – voting, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association. It’s a lot!

Credit: Zane Zlemeša for Fine Acts.

Varvara Perekrest, a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, based in Ukraine

Image credits: fineacts.co

She says: I am personally very frustrated by extensive populism and self-promotion that often has no real impact. I live in а country where the amount of people who brag about human rights and condemn violent radical nationalists on their Facebook pages exceeds by thousands the numbers of those who actually attend Prides, protests or vote in elections in order to change anything.Real problems need real actions by real people.

Credit: Varavara Perekrest for Fine Acts.

Jan Vajsabel, an illustrator based in Slovakia

Image credits: fineacts.co

He says: Hair is a way of expressing individuality, and emphasizing your state of mind. Hair as a symbol of freedom and liberty. The work symbolically depicts the contrast between the past under the totalitarian regime and the freedom of expression in democracy through hair.

Credit: Jan Vajsabel for Fine Acts

Anna Katalin Lovrity, an animation filmmaker and illustrator from Hungary

Image credits: fineacts.co

She says: Repressing different opinions and free speech are the biggest threats to democracy so we should fight against one-sided governmental communication. Do you believe that you live in a free country if you are worried about what you say? 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in some countries politicians have decided to put up walls again. According to them, we are threatened. But do we really know what we are being protected from? Do we prefer to hide behind the wall, or do we wish to see what’s really behind?

Credit: Anna Katalin Lovrity for Fine Acts

Paul Virlan, a digital artist based in Romania

Image credits: fineacts.co

He says: We know that the dove is a symbol for peace and love, and in different contexts can represent sacrifice. My visuals talk about a transition from imprisonment to freedom, from censorship to freedom of speech, from walls to pals, from barbed wire to olive leaves. The visual metaphors used in this artwork have only one goal: to explain my personal statement for a democratic Europe.

Credit: Paul Virlan for Fine Acts

Nvard Yerkanian, a graphic designer and illustrator from Armenia based in Italy

Image credits: fineacts.co

She says: Europe celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A symbolic event for a whole generation that experienced both the isolation and the reunion. Despite history showing us that walls do only harm, we continue building new ones to separate people based on their nationality, race, social status, gender, etc. With this poster, I wanted to create an abstract space, where there is no place for walls, but only bridges that transit through space, intersect, connect or cross, giving a new perspective on how human communication could be imagined in our minds.

Credit: Nvard Yerkanian for Fine Acts

Boris Pramatarov, a visual artist from Bulgaria, based in Belgium

Image credits: fineacts.co

He says: I face the images of war, poverty and inequality where the military jets talk about peace, the tanks about democracy, monopolies about equality and politicians about separation barriers. I see peace, democracy and equality in the colorful crowd.

Credit: Boris Pramatarov for Fine Acts

Find out more about the other featured artists and how to join our artist collected at TheAmmo.org.