Begging for Change in Spain, Street Art Style
Spain's economy is stuck in a double dip recession, with over 5 million people registered for unemployment, and the country is suffering the second worst slump since the 1970s when dictator Francisco Franco was still in power. Those kind of financial conditions can be bad on morale, especially to the younger generation struggling to find work with few options. But a dire economy often inspires creative output in response, and a Spanish artist collective has created the Hands project, a public art piece aimed at raising awareness about the economic crisis—and those responsible for it.
The project is spearheaded by Spanish artists Octavi Serra, Mateu Targa, Daniel Llugany and Pau Garcia who sarcastically state on their website that they love "the way actual and past politicians are doing their job." They've taken to the streets of Barcelona putting plaster casts of hands in various scenarios, begging for change and looking for a break.
In one installation we see a hand, palm up, hovering over a scrawled sign that reads: Help Spain. They've taken over ATMs, phone booths, and storefronts. Whether or not their playful work will have any impact on those in power, is questionable, but for those passing by on the street it's a reminder that everyone is affected by the looming crisis whether they are directly, or indirectly begging for change.
Images courtesy of the Hands project