When, in the spring of 2016, the German-born, London-based Turner Prize winning photographer Wolfgang Tillmans produced a set of posters to campaign for Britain to remain in the EU, Brexit looked like an isolated event.
Since then, Britain’s leave vote has been viewed as part of a wider, political trend, sweeping across the US and Europe. This year, France, German and the Netherlands will go to the polls and may elect far-right leaders such as Marine Le Pen Geert Wilders, both of whom express anti-EU sentiments.
With this in mind, the Dutch publishers of Fantastic Man magazine, Jop van Bennekom and Gert Jonkers, have buddied up with Tillmans to produce a new version of the photographer’s pro-EU posters, in German, Dutch, English and French.
This renewed campaign is timed to coincide with the Netherlands elections on 15 March, and has been mounted with the support of Dutch partner organizations including Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Het Nieuwe Instituut, and Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art. However, the multilingual campaign addresses a wider concern for “the protection of the EU against the current wildfire of political negativity” say Gert, Jop and Wolfgang.
“This is the time for action,” the trio say in an open letter. “Vote for whatever party, but don’t vote down the EU. Now is the time to raise awareness and to protect what has protected us, and our values, for so long. The campaign is a call to work together, to adapt the posters, to spread them and to talk with people of opposite beliefs.”
The posters are free to collect from Amsterdam's Foam Fotografiemuseum and free to download as print-sized PDF, web-resolution JPEGs, and Instagram-friendly squares. Go here for more information. For more on Wolfgang order this book; for more on Fantastic Man get this one.