This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
In your hands you have the Handbook for Creative Activism. It is de-
signed to be an inspireing and usefull guide to making street actions. It is
divided in fve chapters: Inspiration, Brainstorming, Preparation, Action
and Refection. Tese chapters are at the same time steps of creating an
Inside every chapter there is an introductory text which will ofer you
general ideas, rules and guidelines for every phase of your work. After
that, comes our practical working experience together with some critical
reviews on it. It is followed by concrete, short tips for chapters.
Tis Handbook should inspire you and help you along the rocky road of
street activism. We tried to squeeze it in a size that could ft your pocket.
So feel free to take it anywhere you go and to make a good use of it!
before reading 4
feel free 20
brainstorming methods 26
Group REPORTS 28
Group REPORTS 42
preparation tips 52
Group REPORTS 58
action tips 68
Group REPORTS 74
evaluation paper example 82
2006 A.D. Armenia
Close to the mountain where a guy with a beard once stranded with his
ship full of animals, a group of youngsters arrived from Armenia, Geor-
gia, Germany and the Netherlands. Tey wanted to learn more about
each other, their countries, their habits and also about creative activism
as a way to change the world. During ten days we brainstormed, prepared
and performed several street actions and came to a handfull of conclu-
sions and ideas about creative activism.
We didn’t want to keep all this for ourselves, so we created this book to
share our experiences and ideas with you and maybe inspire you to do
your own actions! Actions that we present here are simple and unique as
they were created in just a few days. Tese models are easy to implement
in your own town or city, with local, regional or global issues, and with
your own additions and twists.
Tis book’s is about people, emotions, and cultures and experiences we
had with them. It’s about laughing, singing, dancing, talking, shouting
and crying. About great food, bad food, great parties and small failures.
It’s about leaving your country, seeing the world from a distance and from
very close at the same time.
Have fun reading using this handbook. Keep improving your actions and
expressing your ideas untill we solve all the problems in the world.
You are sitting in your favorite chair, watch-
ing a beautiful painting on your wall and
holding a hot cup of tea. But soon all that
comfort starts to bother you and you start
wondering... “Maybe I could do something
with myself and this world?”. But before
you run out to the street and start shouting,
spend some time in fnding what is really
the thing that makes you move. It is impor-
tant to feel and to know why do we do the
things we do.
Inspiration: the process of being mentally
stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to
do something creative
Inspiration... that’s the word we are looking
for. Inspiration is a starting point of every
mental process and consequently, of a street
action as well. Inspiration is all around us,
so it shouldn’t be that hard. A story of a
friend, an article in the newspaper, a trip to
a city nearby or a place far, far away. But
the real inspiration is born very near, in our-
selves. Tat’s why we should always try to
see and to feel our surrounding, to open - to
let ourselves be inspired.
And than, just before you die out laughing,
close yourself in a room for a week, or cry
on a friends shoulder for hours, you can also
decide to make a street action.
On the next pages, you can fnd what in-
spires us and how we look at inspiration.
Tere is also some blank space for you to
write or draw some of your own inspira-
AS WE DO
BACK IN THE CLOSET
AND DRESSED UP
Streets of inspiration
Toughts on and from the street.
Te street is there for transport.
Sometimes it can me make angry,
if I see all these cars blocking our freedom.
Sometimes it can make me happy,
if I see a little plant growing between the asphalt.
Breaking to the grey strong road and showing a bit of green.
Tis little plant tells me that I also can do something.
A small thing, but still something
to change my world how I would like it to be.
And then I look again to the street.
I don’t see the street only for transport anymore,
But a total playground, everything, everyone is there.
And nobody can control it, even if they try.
Te street is a place where you can see so much
Tings changing, things moving and little corners.
Little corners with hiding spots
Hiding spots with little surprises.
So let’s go on an excursion.
Not far, maybe the street you pass everyday.
And I try to look again,
Above the shops,
Behind the commercials,
Low to the ground,
High to the sky,
Everywhere and nowhere,
Combining and mixing.
Suddenly I got something,
Called an idea
Ten I think again of the plant.
Do something with your idea.
At some point in our lives we
wonder why we are living it. I
truly believe that each person is
living for a purpose. We always
search for the purpose: some do
in the people they love, some at
the places they go and some in
the things they do. I wouldn’t be
inventing the wheel to say that
we are judged by our doings and
that’s what leaves a trace, a good
one or a bad one. It’s all in our
hands to make it all worth living,
or to make everything as worth-
less as it can be. It’s not easy to
fnd inspiration, because it’s mo-
ment that is hard to catch.
At times we feel inspired to
change everything, but when it
comes to the time to act, we hesi-
tate, are lazy, or think of other
excuses, but life is too short to
just sit around and watch it go
by. We need to live it, we need to
participate in the lives of people
that need our help, and we need
to speak our minds, because what
may seem nonsense to you might
be great inspiration for another
When doing some kind of ac-
tivity, be it community service,
street action, charity or other,
you always get various looks
from people. Some look at you in-
terested, some indiferent and
some think you have lost your
mind. Others may see encour-
agement, support and courage,
consolation or a helping hand.
In everything we do, we always
afect other people’s lives.
We may not notice it, but a
child that saw us doing a street
action for more green space in
the city may remember us for a
long time. A teenager that was
involved in a fundraising activ-
ity may look at you with be-
lief and hope. Believe me, you
won’t forget those looks for a
long time, because they give
you a feeling of meaning of
what you do and why you do.
I have come to realize that I
look for ways to change my life
and life of others to the bet-
ter, in the ways accessible for
me at the moment. But there
are times I ask myself, if I do
enough. Tat is when I fnd
inspiration and energy to do
more and achieve more. Te
amount of people afected by
your doings isn’t that impor-
tant. Changing the “look” of
at least one person is already
an achievement. Feeling the
responsibility for the future of
coming generations makes us
act, and if we don’t make any
efort we won’t have any right
to be dissatisfed with the fu-
ture, because we didn’t take the
chance of being the change.
Inspiration is all around
you, and you need to catch the
moment. Be it through some
good music, a glass of wine, a
long walk, or a beautiful view
of city lights, or the sea…
At the “sunset” of our lives,
we take a look back and re-
think of the path we walked,
of the choices we made, at the
chances we took and missed.
It’s moments that we remem-
ber, the moments that took
our breath away. Te fashback
of your life is all in those mo-
ments and sometimes there
is just so many of those mo-
ments, that the fashback is
too long… Tat is when you see
your purpose as clearly as you
couldn’t imagine it in the be-
ginning of the way. It’s a good
feeling I suppose, but I want
to feel it myself too and I wish
you good luck in walking your
path to that moment.
Tis is a simple game,
which could have great con-
First to know that inspi-
ration is partly about watch-
ing the reality in a diferent
way. You try to take away
some flters that you nor-
mally have and suddenly a
street is no street anymore.
It is a place with solid sur-
face where a lot of thing can
happen. You’ll se some fow-
ers growing, people walking,
cars driving up and down...
And of course a lot of inter-
Goal of the alien game is
to walk around some place
with a pen and a paper and
to try looking at the things
around without as much
flters as possible. You’ll
se surfaces, shapes, living
creatures, moving objects,
without any pre-knowledge.
Tan write down everything
you see as if you come from
another planet and you are
making a report for superi-
ors on a home planet.
Later on, you can use the
things you have found and
put them in some perspec-
tive; maybe get inspired by
some ordinary things.
Everybody has inciden-
tal moments of inspira-
tion. Tat’s nothing special.
Tose are special who can
see the great value of those
moments. Tose who take
them serious. It doesn’t
matter if you just let those
moments come and go; you
can necer have a waist of
inspiration. But like most
things in your life, you can
get better at it. Write down
your idea, draw the image
you have on your mind, act
out your ideas, as often as
possible and you’ll see; more
structure will come, you will
get better at it and maybe
most important of all, you
will have more moments of
Light bulbs pop up above
your head... it happened
again. Tere’s an idea inside
your head just like that. But
what triggered it, how did
it get there? Is there some
way to envoque it or can you
block it when you don’t want
it? Get inspired but don’t
Inspiration is not an ex-
clusive thing for big artists
but can happen to anyone
at any time. Some people
even get so inspired they
have to keep on writting all
their ideas down and hardly
get any sleep. Shutting this
down is quite hard and why
would you do it anyway if it
produces so much nice and
creative things? But still, ev-
eryone should get some rest
and eventually your head
will be to occupied with be-
ing tired to produce creativ-
ity anymore. So, don’t worry,
inspiration won’t get you
down, just let it in. And if
you really don’t want to be
inspired, you’re probably not
opening to anything.
But if you do want to get
inspired, the frst thing to do
is to open up. Look at details,
expect the unexpected, don’t
take the things you see, feel
or hear for granted. Try to
look at everyday life from a
diferent perspective. People
have the freedom of inter-
pretation. Tis can cause mis-
understandings, but it can
also cause very joyfull situ-
ations. Don’t limit yourself
to doing everything perfect.
“Mistakes are the best ways
to learn” as it is often said.
Maybe you will get inspired
by a little paper with thing
written on it that is lying in a
pile of leaves, maybe not.
Of course, it is not only
cute, sweet hippy-like things
that give you ideas! Seeing
the news about the things
going on in the world, things
that can make you angry,
these can inspire you too.
Try to see the possibilities
that are within you reach and
those of others. Combine
ideas to inspire eachother,
create new ideas, make it fun
and keep the positive spirit.
Everyone can do it
Make it serious
Tis is free space for you to draw, paint or write your inspiration. Tis is free space for you to draw, paint or write your inspiration.
You have passed a moment of great in-
spiration. Tousand ideas are knocking
the doors of your mind and as many but-
terfies want to get out of your stomach.
You feel determined to do something, to
change the world. You are inspired (of
course the previously mentioned num-
bers vary from your personality and
situation you are in).
So what you need now is to get closer
to the image of the action you want to
make. It is a long and confusing way to
that place, and if we add the fact that it
is usually several people doing one action
than the need for some structure is quite
obvious. So let’s take a walk...
Process of discussing specifc issues or
searching solutions for a problem in a
group is called brainstorming. But be-
fore we let the winds blow through our
minds we need to have some frame for
that. When it comes to making street ac-
tion than discussing the following issues
When making a street action there are
numerous topics that can be addressed;
environmental, political, social or cul-
tural situation, gender issues, place and
role of some social groups such as young-
sters, women, people with special needs
and many, many more. While discussing
chosen topics everyone in the group will
start to feel attracted to one or another
topic more. Tat is a good starting point
for choosing which topics to address.
When you have a topic of your action you should try to put it in
a specifc context. Tat context is actually the surrounding of
your action; it can be a country, region, city or a specifc street.
At this point it is important to guide a discussion towards the
discovery of problems and issues that are actual in that sur-
rounding, were they hidden or exposed. Te action with its
message, goals and methods should ft in its background.
But actions are not only about solving or addressing problems
but also about expressing ourselves, our ideas, visions and feel-
ings. In the next phase every participant in the action should
brainstorm about his or her own place. Everyone should ask
a question: “How do I feel about the topic?” and “How can I
Somewhere in between previous conclusions your action will
fnd place. Now with some guides created, feel free to think of
all the possible actions, games and forms of expression that
you could use and write them down.
On the next pages frst you can read more about process of
brainstorming in general. Tere are also some pre-designed
methods of brainstorming which could help you along the
After that we wrote about brainstorming in our groups. Top-
ics of the group were: Globalization, Environment, Politics and
Culture. Every group used diferent method and went in difer-
ent directions. At the end So, the paper is blank and big. And
it is all yours to fll it in.
Good luck Captain!
Brainstorming - General
Brainstorming is usually associated with wide expression of ideas.
But it is more than that: it is an art or arranging ideas. Te process
goes as follows:
After a problem or a question has been defned, participants
are asked to think of as many ideas as possible and write them
down. All ideas are good and nothing will be rejected on fore-
After an agreed duration all notes are collected and one by one
discussed. Group all the ideas and suggestions which seems to
belong to each other. Sometimes at that stage, still more ideas
come to light. You should also consider those.
Gradually originate groups of solutions. Te ideas which are
called the most often are not per se the best, but are generally
part of the most obvious solution.
Discuss with the group collections of ideas and decide with
which proposals you want to proceed.
IDA is short for Ideal-Tresholds-Action-method. Te fundamen-
tal idea is that you reason from the ideal situation and work to-
ward an action plan. Te method can be used for each random
subject. When you end up with a too complex list of things to do
then try to separate your subject in what smaller subjects.
Formulate the ideal situation. Forget all about reality and try to
take the restrictions of your imagination as your only obstruc-
Trace why the ideal situation is not existing right now. Make a list
with obstructions which are in between the ideal situation and
Check for every obstruction what would be necessary to over-
come it. Sometimes it is simple things, like money or manpower,
sometimes you have to trust more on your fantasy.
Now write down which are the thresholds of all requirements to
reach or obtain them. Which bumps have be taken?
Finally you think of ways to eliminate all thresholds. Make a list
of these ways and there’s your procedure to realize your ideal situ-
Six thinking hats
Te technique of the ‘six thinking hats’ is invented by Edward de
Bono. Six hats of several colours stand symbol for a diferent as-
pect of a problem.
Te white hat stands for information which is available or which
can be obtained. With the white hat a team fnds out if they have
all required information necessary.
Te red hat stands for emotions and intuition. Participants get
the occasion to speak out what their feelings are with a certain
question. ‘I felt that...’, ‘I wonder if...’
Te yellow hat stands symbol for advantages and realizability.
With the yellow hat the positive side of the problem or question
Te black hat acts for appointing dangers and problems. With the
black hat the matter is critically examined.
Te green hat gives space for alternatives and ideas. Te question
which precedes is: ‘are there alternatives?’ We ‘can look at the
problem in a diferent way?’
Te blue hat keeps track of the organisation. What is the agenda?
Which hat is taken into consideration as a frst, which as last?
During a discussion people take diferent hats to clarify a way of
looking at the question or problem.
In the very beginning we
were free to choose which topic
we wanted to participate in and
that is how our politics group
was formed. As soon as we got
together, we started discuss-
ing the political environment
in Armenia. We interviewed
our Armenian group-mates
how Armenian citizens would
act in response of our action
depending on the issue that
it’s touching upon, and what
political issues were the most
important in Armenia’s po-
litical environment. We brain-
stormed and than sorted out a
few touchy issues that could be
approached by the action that
our group was going to do.
Tan we started carefully
analizing topics. Some of the
topics were Armenia’s confict
with its neighboring countries,
recognition of genocide, peo-
ple not believing in politicians
and their promises, political
environment mixed up with
business interests etc. Some
of these issues were too touchy
because they were mainly for-
eigners in the politics group
and therefore ignorant about
these issues. So we decided
to stay away from the con-
ficts and politicians, and do
an action about elections. We
found out that most part of
Armenia’s population is very
skeptical about the elections
and around 60% doesn’t vote.
We thought Armenians need
something encouraging and
inspirative. Actually those 60%
of people must have better
ideas than the ones mentioned
on the ballots. We would like to
know what those ideas are, be-
cause great ideas get even bet-
ter, when you share them. We
believe that democracy isn’t
only about voting, but about
participation as well. So we
wanted to pass a message to
the people, not to vote for paid
politicians with their boring
ideas, but to say or to do some-
thing themselves and vote for
their own ideas.
When we knew exactly what
message we wanted to deliver,
we stared jotting down some
ideas of actions that could be
done. Since our action group
was kind of big (8 people), we
had quite some ideas, but we
managed to put a few thoughts
together and not go far of the
subject. We had a very creative
group and it was natural that
everybody wanted to express
himself. Te entire group
seemed to be inspired with the
idea of doing a parody of elec-
tions and that was the basis of
adding more action ideas to
the existing one.
We came up with a design
of voting ballots, made a big
ballot box with a bright sign,
we decided to have 2 “fake”
politicians with fake dollars,
who tried to buy the votes of
people, we planned to attract
people’s attention by hav-
ing somebody with a bright
costume juggling with devil
sticks. We though it would be
useful to have an information
leafet with a message explain-
ing the meaning of our action.
We decided to put banners on
the politicians with a message
written on them that would
exaggerate the character of the
politician. Finally the action
was thought to be conducted
in the following way: handing
out fyers with information to
attract people to come to our
parody of elections. Have bal-
lots that have an option of vot-
ing for themselves, write down
their own opinion and put it
in the ballot box. Meanwhile
the fake politicians would try
to bribe the voters with their
fake dollars in exchange for
their votes. During the entire
process of elections, the jug-
gler would constantly attract
attention of passing people.
Tere we are sitting, a group
of 7 people from three difer-
ent countries and we want to
do an action about globaliza-
tion. How to start?
In order to know who is who
we started with an introduc-
tion – warm up funny game,
which is called speed speech.
In 30 seconds you have to say
who you are in a high speed.
After that the others imme-
diately applause and then the
next person starts.
First of all, in order to make
the subject more clear, we
needed to know what is global-
ization, what does it mean to
everyone as well as what does
it mean in their country. Ten
the real brainstorm towards
the action started: We used the
I.D.A. method, which stands
for Ideal Fresholds Action. It
goes like the following.
1. Ideal Situation Formu-
late the ideal situation. Forget
all about reality and try to take
the restrictions of your imagi-
nation as your only obstruc-
tions. We came up with 9 ideal
2. Obstructions For every
ideal situation we wrote down
obstructions. Tese obstruc-
tions describe why our ideal
situation is not ideal now and
Tip: When you start writ-
ing down the ideal situation
remember that you need space
to write down obstructions
3. Requirements After
writing down the obstructions
we wrote down the require-
ments that we need in order to
overcome the obstructions and
solve the problem. For some
obstructions there is only one
requirement, for others there
are around ten. But it can also
happen that one requirement
can solve diferent kind of ob-
Fresholds: We used the
Loesje writing method for this
which went like this:
We wrote down above each
paper one requirement from
the requirements that came up
more often to solve the prob-
lems. Underneath we wrote
down crazy ideas, action pro-
posals and Loesje texts.
When a person wrote down
what he/she wanted, the paper
was passed to the neighbor.
Tat person wrote down their
own ideas and checked the
other ideas that were already
written. So we got ten papers
flled with ideas, funny actions
and Loesje texts. We circled
with colors the ones we most
liked and we wrote down six
possibilities about what kind
of actions could we do.
We started out with a hello
and a smile to each other, ar-
range a group of sofas in front
of the heater, and a cup of cof-
fee to warm up. After that we
were ready for a big discussion,
about culture and traditions in
general and in Armenia. Since
Culture and Tradition is a
quite wide topic, we started to
defne what kind of issues and
problems we thought was con-
nected with it. All of us did not
have a common culture and the
discussion went in diferent di-
rections. We tried to focus on
things that were important
for Armenia, since it was here
we were going to do our ac-
tion. When we were discussing
the topic in general we found
other more specifed topics,
which we often returned to.
We wrote them down, and
decided to further brainstorm
about them. Religion, cultural
values, buildings, gender is-
sues and marriage were some
of the topics.
1 and a half hour later…
We started to brainstorm
about the topics we had found
during the big discussion. We
wrote the topic on the top of
the paper, and then we passed
them around and tried to fll
them with ideas for actions,
opinions and creativity. After
some time thinking, writing,
being frustrated, some small
discussions and breaks for in-
spiration, we decided we were
fnished. We started passing
the papers around and circled
the good ideas…
Now we had some nice ideas
to talk about. At frst we want-
ed to do a lot of things, so we
tried to mix the ideas together.
Te action was formed slowly,
and become more and more
clear. We discussed about what
we wanted to accomplish, and
tried to narrow the subject to
make the action less confus-
ing. After some time we de-
cided that the base of the idea
should be to interview people
and encourage them to express
their opinions with us. In that
way, we could bring up dif-
ferent issues and topics, and
try to make people active. We
decided that we want to focus
on bringing up the discus-
sion about cultural problems,
to make people think, rather
than give an already made so-
lution to a problem in only one
topic. By the end of the day,
the idea had changed so much
that it was no longer recogniz-
able from the brainstorm. Out
of the brainstorm papers, we
created a new idea together,
which we all could support. We
left the table, quite satisfed
with our work.
Imagine: some people from
diferent countries care about
the environment and come to-
gether. Teir minds are open
and they’re up for action.
But what to do? Time for a
Tey sit around a table and
frst they try to come up with a
specifc topic, because you can’t
save the whole world in once.
Something global? Something
local? Since they’re in Armenia,
they think it would be better
to have a local topic, because
there’s probably not so much
awareness in the streets about
global environmental problem.
In Yerevan there are a lot of
parks, but more and more ca-
fés appear on that spots. Also
people don’t seem to appreci-
ate the trees so much. Tere’s
your topic. Parks and trees.
Now the group can think for a
suitable action. Diferent ideas,
parts of visions and combined
action plans were suddenly fy-
ing around. Te atmosphere
among the people was very
open, so everybody felt free to
say the weirdest and most bril-
Ten the hard part started.
Kill your darlings. So much nice
actions and such a little time!
After a break to think things
over individually, the group
came together again to pick the
nicest and most practical plan.
It seemed that even apart from
each other the people came up
with the same combination of
plans. Te “Portable Park” and
the “Talking Trees” (or “Tree’s
Now they could go on with
Te environment group was
made up four people initially,
who camp up with the action
ideas and proposed it to the
rest of the activists who joined
the group later. Tis made the
initial brainstorming process
quite straightforward, because
with a small group you can
bounce ideas of on another
quite easily and the planning is
In larger groups you often
have to wait a long time to say
your contribution or react to
what somebody else has said.
So we found we didn’t have
to use any structured ways of
brainstorming because as soon
as we started discussing the
ideas fowed quickly.
If there was a disagreement
about an idea or trying to de-
cide between two things for
example, we just continued
discussing the pros and cons
about each idea and came to
a decision by consensus. Con-
sensus based decision making
takes a lot of time, but it re-
sults in people all saying yes to
a decisions and nobody ends
up with a decision they don’t
like (this happens with a vot-
ing system for example).
An important part though
was taking turns taking notes
about the ideas. Since there
was constant bouncing of
ideas back and forth the hard-
est job was writing down the
notes and trying to organize
them while writing. Also with
an international group with
diferent levels of English writ-
ing abilities it can sometimes
be difcult to get everyone to
take a turn writing notes. So
you should be aware of this
when working in an interna-
tional setting preparing for an
Overall for brainstorming
we found having an open and
free attitude and letting every-
one speak and share their ideas
without feeling like they’d be
ridiculed was the most inspir-
ing environment and lead to
a very creative environmental
You are a group of people now, you have
chosen a topic and you are familiar with a
surrounding of your action. You even have a
vision of how your action might look.
Your vision is just about to become visible
for other as well. You are zooming in your
action and starting to realize and create
details. You settle down, and think hard.
“How will our action really look?”, “What
do we need for our action?” and “What will
be our role there?”.
Here we ofer a possible structure. First
think of a message you want to pass. Tan
think of the possible tools you might use
to pass the message. For that you will also
need some material, and at the end fnd
your place in the action.
Message is way of communication between
us and the targeted recipients of it. For
every topic, thousand of messages can be
passed and in thousand of ways. In that
sense, when you want to send a message
you should think about two things: what do
I want to say and what do I need to do so
that the recipient get it the way I wanted
to pass it.
So, start from yourselves. Find what do you
want to say and be sure that you really feel
that and, in some case, you might need to
be well informed about the topic as well.
Te more you understand your own mes-
sage the better chance is that recipient will
understand it better too.
Tan, think about your target group. Which kind of message will
be easiest for them to understand. Note: often what we want to
say and the way we want to do that does not match with what
recipient want to hear. Finding balance there is a true art, we
leave that to you.
What you should know though, is that it is often a matter of time.
Sometimes it takes hours, days or even weeks before we can truly
understand and appreciate one message. So take your time when
evaluating the reception of you message.
At the end, some actions don’t have a clear message. Maybe you
just want to question someone or to measure someone’s reaction
to a specifc stimulus. However, it is still a type of communica-
tion and questioning yourself and thinking about target group are
necessary as well.
At this point message is still in your head or on a piece of paper.
Tere are a lot of ways to send it. For sending a message we use
diferent tools. Here are some examples of tools:
Teatrical dance and music performances, street animation,
games, internet or printed publications, painting, posters, discus-
sions, art installations and many more.
No matter which tools you are planning to use keep in mind that:
they should be suitable for delivering your message (if you
want to signify the importance of sustainable living don’t or-
ganize a car race),
they should be as complex as you have time and resources
to bring it trough (building a youth hostel in just a few days
they should suite you, your skills and interests (walking on your
hands can look quite silly if you have never did it before),
they should be adapted to the location and a target group (if
you make an action in Prague, your text posters in Swedish
might be misunderstood).
Plastic, carton, paint, brushes, cloth, pa-
per... bring it all here!
When you have decided and designed
your tools (e.g.. street theater, grafti...)
it is time to produce them. Street actions
are fast and short-run methods of send-
ing a message. Often, those actions also
change places. Tat’s why you should try
to limit yourself to light materials, which
are disposable as well. You should be free
to move easily and not to worry to much
on your setting (damage, theft...).
Where you should not limit yourself is
using everyday objects and simple things
in an extraordinary and creative ways.
Make instruments out of carton pipes,
bottles, rice and beans. Build your set-
ting out of carton boxes and use some
nice paint to reach the efect.
We are human beings. And recipients of
our message are human beings as well.
Even if this doesn’t sound like the smart-
est thing you’ve ever heard, keep that in
mind. So when going to make a street ac-
tion don’t stand still like a wall or jump
around hitting people like a dragon. You
should also notice and attract people.
Tey are not hungry and you are not of-
Tere are many varieties when it comes to making human con-
tact. You can use costumes and objects to stress your message.
You can play your role with with or without pre-designed sce-
nario, that is with diferent levels of improvisation. You can also
design a leafet, fyer or something in common to address your
Whatever you do try to ft your role to your tool and your mes-
sage. Design such a role and a scenario that you feel comfortable
and confdent. And try to play and adapt your approach to every
person you approach, cause we are diferent.
On the next pages you will read how did we in our groups pre-
pare our actions. Which tools and materials did we use. At the
end there are some of the friendly tips and suggestions about
making an action.
So hurry up! Te action is getting close!
When the brainstorm has
passed, the idea has been
transformed into a solid plan,
then its time to transport all
this into stuf. Stuf that can
be used in the action.
Costumes, leafets, and
decoration whatever you
In our case we decided
to have a corrupt politi-
cian and a lazy politician
who were going to bribe
people in order to buy
So we needed: 2 costumes
for politicians and fake dollars.
We wanted people to vote, so,
therefore we needed a ballot
box and ballots and of course
information with our message
Everything also needed a
text concept, the fyers, leaf-
lets, ballots, ballot box, ev-
So we started working
you would say…
Aha, we forgot about
proper organization; or
not forgot about it, it just
didn’t work. Just when i
thought I had a grid on it,
it just slipped away again.
It was like trying to build
a castle on the sand, to build
a road through a feld of land-
Tings happened, material
was made but overall coordi-
nation or communication or
group feeling? No way!
So when we had the idea
that everything was fnished,
except some printing and mak-
ing the ballot box, it was no
surprise that in the morning
before the action, half the stuf
was not to be found…
Tis group had a nice discussion about political situation in diferent
countries. Soon they came up with a nice idea for the action, which
includes a lot of diferent tools as well.
Second day they were producing their material but that day they were
not motivated or organised enough. Tey have left quite a lot of work
to be done on the morning just before the action. And then before the
action they somehow lost part of their material. Tat produced a bit of
a stress inside the group.
So leave the action day as free as possible. Tan you should be relaxed.
We will see how will this stress infuence their performance on the ac-
Vote for your
own ideas, be
papers to write
ideas on and
to vote, bribing
fake money, jug-
ballot, black and
dressed up and
roles, others ex-
plain the action,
help with voting
situation in the
Moral of the story? Work
with people who can commu-
nicate with, behave like a dic-
tator if you have to, but make
sure you know what’s going on!
Otherwise take a break, a book
and relax man!
On the frst day they spent a lot of time for the discussion. Tey were
happy with the discussion but they were way behind the other groups.
Tat produced a bit of a pressure on them. But, the next day the pres-
sure seems to work just fne and they work a lot and hard and they suc-
ceed to make up the time and their work is on time. So, if you spend your
time in a constructive way you can spend as much as you want.
Teir tools are easy to produce, playful and communicative and they
seem to enjoy producing them.
We’ll see how will all this afect their action.
To make people
think of glo-
to raise public
self, it’s dangers,
of us can have
Street game in
take part by
throwing a big
dice and putting
on the big world
Some chalk to
draw a world
in paper with a
drawing of dif-
costumes and a
big carton dice.
Group is cos-
tumed (a prin-
cess, a frog, a
little girl, a busi-
the game and
about the deci-
sions made by
During our brain-
storming we have
spent a lot of time
to everyone of us.
Since we were a group
made of people with
backgrounds we spent
a lot of time. But after
that we felt enthousi-
astic about making an
Our direction was not to
treat globalisation as some-
thing good or bad by itself,
but as something that we can
change, that we can direct.
Tat is why
we have chosen to make a
game about globalisation. Tat
game would invite participants
to create their own world, as
they would like to see it.
For that we thought of
drawing a big map of the world
on the pavement. It should
be also easy to draw it several
times and to move it. After
that we made lot of bottles
with symbols on them. Tose
bottles would represent things
that we like or dislike in the
world (parks, schools, nuclear
So, the game starts with
throwing a big dice (which we
made out of carton boxes). Te
number on the dice (it has only
1 to 3) tells how many objects
you can put on the map. As
someone chooses the bottle we
ask them why they did it. By
doing that we wanted to make
people think more and express
To make the whole process
funnyer and our action more
colourfull we dressed ourselves
up. We were football players, a
girl, a queen, a frog and a mod-
ern, business woman. In that
sense we were also symbols of
globalisation or anti-globalisa-
Te second day we spend in
making plans of how to make
the action. We were discuss-
ing the location of our action,
materials we are going to use,
what could go wrong, how we
thought people would react
and so on. We decided to give
out fyers to make people come
to our wall, and to make them
remember us more. We also
wanted to record all interviews,
so that we would get the right
opinions down on the wall.
We started with making the
questions. We found the ques-
tions, simply by a discussion
inside the group. We thought
about the topics we had during
the brainstorm and issues from
the previous discussion, and
wrote all of our ideas down. At
the end of the selection we had
What is culture for you?
What do you think about
Are you afraid of losing your
Have your actions ever been
limited by your country’s
traditions? When? How?
What does religion mean to
Does the youth care about
How do you follow the tradi-
tions and cultural codes?
What is your favorite tradi-
Do you think culture is
changing? What are the
positive and negative sides
Who and how is changing
We tried to make a mix of
serious and more easy ques-
tions, to open up a discus-
sion with all kinds of people.
We also wanted to have some
questions that are specifc for
We started to discuss what
kind of materials we needed,
and wrote it up on a list. Ex-
cept from materials, for the
action such as pens and pa-
pers, we decided to bring tape
recorders, so we could get the
actual words in the interviews,
and to bring a video camera to
document the action.
Title of action and fyers
To make people remember
us and to make them come to
the action we wanted to make
fyers. We decided to have a
short text and a small picture
on it. We all together discussed
the text and a title for the
whole action. We agreed after
some time to call the action
Speak up your Culture!
Te preparation process did
not have the inspiration and
energy as the brainstorming
part. It was hard to keep the
group together. We took difer-
ent responsibilities, which left
the group more dependant on
some people. Maybe it would
have been better if we had had
another meeting before the ac-
tion, at the end of the prepa-
rations, to catch up on how
everyone was doing. Now we
only checked out what was to
be done, and trusted everyone
to do it well, and to feel good
Already during the discussion part this group in general seem to miss
some motivation. Action plan is consisted of only two tools. As we said
earlier, if you are not inspired to do an action and if you don’t feel con-
nected to the topic and the message than you won’t be able to think of
nice ideas and it will be hard to produce material needed.
Second day they are producing their tools and they seem more concen-
trated. Still, participation inside the group is low. If your group changes
a lot during the preparation than it might be useful to reorganise your-
self. Ones who want to work will work.
We will need to keep an eye on them during the action...
tion to topics
of culture and
their vision of
the culture and
making an exhi-
bition of difer-
glue, papers A4,
about the topic
Environment group wanted
to make it easy and environ-
mental friendly, of course, so
we prepared the action in line
with the the group shared ide-
Te action was also creative,
simple, cheap, interactive and
funny. Here is the description
of how we did in practice and
how this action can be repeat-
ed, making it better!
We wanted to do an action
in the city of Yerevan with an
enviromental message related
to it. Talking with people who
live there, we discovered that,
apart other big problems as
pollution, trafc etc, there is a
huge lack of public green spac-
es. Te ones that existed once,
are now invaded from cafes
and restaurants, so there is no
more space for people to rest
and have fun!
Someone had to claim back
these spaces! Parks are good
for people! Tat was how the
action “Portable park” was
born. It is a movable, folding
park that you can bring with
you and use wherever it is
necessary. We would perform
this action, moving from one
square to another, surrounded
by the shadow of improvised
trees, playing a bit, eating bis-
cuits, talking with people and,
why not, hanging out…
As an addition to that we
planned an action called “Tree’s
thought”. Te idea is that trees
themselves should say some-
thing about environmental
issues as well. Cardboard bal-
l o o n s
inspired by comic
strips, both in ar-
menian and english,
were to be hanged
on the trees in the
streets… So they
could fnally ex-
saying things like:
“Are you looking
at me?”, or “Dog,
please, don`t piss
on me!”, “Stop that
noise, I want to sleep!”, “Pho-
tosynthesis, let`s talk about
it”, and so on... Flowers could
speak as well: “Please, smell
me”, “Flowers rule”...
Tools and Material
Portable park - We found
that the easiest way to make a
garden was to use a big green
sheet, as big as possible, de-
pending on fnances. Better if
you fnd an old one to recycle
Te trees - Our trees were
interpreted by three lovely girls
wearing a leaves crown and
covered with real branches. We
c h a n g e d
our roles so everyone was a
tree that day.
But who has never been a
tree in their life? For sure there
are billions of nice way to rep-
resent a tree, and more trees
you have in you park more it
will look `real`!!!
Banner - To make the mes-
sage more clear, we wrote a
banner, made of white cloth,
where was written, in the lo-
cal language, the title of the
action, and the trees was hold-
ing it… the movable ones, of
Group came with a nice and easy message. From the start they seemed
to concentrate more to make the actio than to discuss about diferent
topics. Tey invented and created nice tools that requires a lot of man-
ual and creative thinking work (tree and fower bubbles and portable
Second day they seem to work a lot on their material and to enjoy the
work; their work is quite visible as well. On the action day they spend
their morning working but they don`t seem stressed and still enjoy their
Obviously atmosphere in the group is nice and that is crucial for any
action. So exept thinking on a good action for audience think of such an
action in which all the participants will feel good. Often simple actions
have such an efect.
We hope their good spirit will last during the action too.
realise the need
for more green
in a removable
park and talking
with passers by
setting a park,
up like trees,
green areas in
Games - A park is not a park
without balls. Balls, freesbees,
tennis rackets etc. are wel-
come, but if you forget it… you
can always improvise and play
with a plastic bottle!!!
Biscuits - To convince more
people to join you, try to ofer
them some biscuits, they will
be glad and smiling!
Music - Some guitar or a
nice radio will make every-
Tree’s thoughts - Te bal-
loons were the place where
trees expressed themselves.
Tose were made by recycled
cardboards, painted in white.
With the markers we wrote the
texts. Using a cutter we did two
holes on the cardboard, and
using some rope we hung it on
trunks, branches, leaves… Te
fower`s balloon were fxed on
the ground with wood sticks.
Cleaning the streets - We
also bought some plastic
gloves and bags with the intent
to clean a bit from garbage the
places we visited…
Contact has a vital importance, so
make sure you have one or couple of
people that actually can communicate
Check your location if possible before
you go to it. If you can’t do it, than at
least take a look to a map;
Make sure what day (maybe special
holidays etc.) and what time (during
shopping / working hours …) you do
Check all the legal issues. Many places
need special permits to set up an ac-
Funny / strange clothes gives a great
attention to your action;
Try to fnd used/ second hand /your
Your location can maybe replace some
material (wall instead of a board...)
You can do a lot just by using lot of
Your material should not restrict you
in any way.
If you want more people try in-
volving media as well;
Make a check list;
Don’t leave too much for the last
moment, calculate your time;
For everything you create, make a
backup, a plan B;
Warm up with a cup of cofee or
Good task division makes a process suc-
Everybody should do something they are
Make sure everyone knows exactly what
to do before the action starts;
Find a balance between leadership and
Find ways to motivate yourself.
Action time! Get your walking shoes,
put your costumes and perfumes. A
fnal look to the mirror. Fix that hat!
Material is ready and all the group is
there. Hit the road Jack! Cause streets
All the preparation is done. If there
is something you still need, try not to
lose to much time and energy on that.
Feel free to improvise. No matter how
good you prepare, street is a live system
and it is changing all the time. So you
need to adapt fast. Besides that, out of
improvisation and spontaneous acting
great thing can be born.
Another important point is to remember
how it all started. Why did you decide
to do the action, what was your inspira-
tion? Because that is why you are there
and it is easier to fght for something
that you have feelings about.
Your message is your fag, keep it high
in the sky. Your message and what you
want to reach, that is your goals, are the
guidelines for everything you do.
And when you step to the street, try to
feel it and go with the fow. Most of the
people feel extraordinary powerful and
excited when they go to the street. At-
tention of the audience combined with
your motivation and accumulated en-
ergy during the preparation process is
enough to keep you running for hours.
It is not strange that from ancient times
most important cultural, social and po-
litical events were held on the streets and central squares. Tere
must be a reason for that. Use that!
On the other hand, street and contact with people passing by
often contain a lot of obstacles. It seems easier than it is, to ap-
proach people, talk to them or act and dance on the street. Tose
are all skills that we build by time. But the obstacle is there to
jump over it. Te higher the obstacle, the greater the jump.
And than, before you can turn around action is over. Take your
time to be happy about it. Go with a group to a nice place, talk
about it, have a quick look trough the material collected (if you
On the next pages you can go trough our action reports. How
did we feel when going to the street? Did our plans work, did we
catch up with our expectations? What did go wrong and what
we liked? At the end there are some Dos and Don’ts for making
Everybody is running up
and down. Guys where are you?
We are starting… Don’t smoke
Wait a minute… Where is the
fake money? We don’t have it?
Well make it fast! Take pictures
of the participants and change
the pictures of Hamilton with
Papers … markers …. Prob-
lems, again? We need ballots
for people to vote. Cool guys
you are perfect... Ballot box …
papers and come one … Cheer
up and Opera Square will open
itself for you :)
Eight people moving to one
direction. Two dressed up as
politicians… the others carry-
ing ballots and a ballot box…
Giving out leafets … talking to
voting and ex-
“Come on Sir,
join us. We need
Dear dependent observer,
Everything was going great
in the corrupted kingdom of
Absentia. We were so well or-
ganized it seemed that system
would never collapse.
Everything was working
perfectly. Te same ideas were
simply recycled from the sys-
tem. Of course most Absen-
tians had lost their hope. So,
there was nothing more that
they could do but ignore all
Phrases such as “ What can
I do about that?” or “No mat-
ter what happens things will
never change”, were more fre-
quent than “Good morning!”
and “Good afternoon!”.
Of course this was a mis-
both candidates and voters.
Te frst ones were corruption
receivers and the second ones
I had never paid attention
on how dirty were the streets
of Absentia since in my suburb
in the north of the city every-
thing was clean. Also around
the parliament, streets were so
clean and there was no dust at
Te prophecy became true
when one morning I noticed
a poster signed by a mysteri-
ous girl called Loesje: “Citizen
initiative - Because you can’t
see politicians cleaning the
Everything started when
this group of activists held a
meeting in Tinkhadjor. What
they did was so simple. Tey
decided to motivate people not
to ignore elections. Of course
an action like this would be the
beginning of our destruction.
People were not only invit-
ed to participate but they were
also asked to vote for their
own idea. It was the frst “open
source” ballot in our history.
I saw it with my own eyes:
a lot of people thinking, writ-
ing their own ideas and put-
ting their votes in the ballot-
box. Immediately our faithful
guards tried to stop this action
and bring things back to nor-
mal life. Is this the beginning
of our end? I’m deeply con-
cerned about the upcoming
elections. What can I do?
Please write as soon as pos-
A desperate politician
When approaching this group you think that circus came to town. Tey
look great. Lot of colours, lot of people, lot of thing happening. Tey
used many tools and together with great location it resulted in loads of
people on their spot.
What remains as a question is did the audience understand the whole
concept, or were they just attracted by ammount of tools. So, always try
to make a good connection between the tools, make a story out of it.
None of the groups had a permition to make a street action. So that in
general made an issue with the police. Still all the groups reacted dif-
ferently. Tis group obayed the law, packed their things and made and
early end of an action.
But they didn’t feel bad about it. Tey still had lot of fun.
In the morning the last
preparations were made. We
gathered in front of the hostel
and already got a lot of atten-
tion from the frst passers by.
Not so weird when your group
is composed from a frog, a
queen, a little kid, two foot-
ball players, a business woman
and a gnome. Walking down
the street, armed with build-
ing-like bottles, a Skippy ball,
gigantic dice and our smiles,
the attention grew. ‘’Can we
take a picture with the frog
and the queen?’’
People started gaz-
ing as we walked on,
some laughing, some
whispering to each
other, others shaking
their heads, wonder-
ing “…have their lost
At the frst location, a small
square in a park near the uni-
versity we stopped to rest a bit
and get ready for the try-out of
our game. Te globe was drawn
on the pavement, the bottles
were placed around it and the
fyers were handed out.
Two small boys were the
frst to sneak up to us, curious
of what was happening. One by
one we caught people “in their
world” and asked them to put
in their dreams or needs.
My name is Luca, I’m the one in
orange on the picture desperately try-
ing to keep my fying devil stick from
fying away. I had a lot of fun that day,
but as you can see, there were also
some other people there … like that
Some people said that he was a
clown but I think he was a bit strange
for a clown. He was all in black and
white clothes and he wasn’t smiling
nearly as much as me…
And also, he only knew one trick;
he would talk to a person who then
made a cross with a piece of paper.
Ten he would get a piece of green paper from his pocket and give
it to the person. I think he was a boring clown and I went back to
the serious business of juggling.
A woman explained to us
“I want to put in an airport
because my daughter is living
abroad and i am always waiting
there for her to return.” “I also
put in a hotel because I want
to have a lot of guests coming
over to this country.” An el-
derly man starts a discussion
about globalization and just
can’t be convinced of its good
sides walks away grumping.
Young parents put in: parks,
playgrounds and forests for
their kinds and in the mean-
while, the two little boys have
put their small chairs in the
world and are replacing all the
buildings, giggling and looking
up to us as they do it.
After a group of male stu-
dents had thrown away the
military base because they
would like a world without war,
we felt it was time to move on
to a bigger and more crowded
location. So we packed the
buildings and left the frst
At the “movie square” there
was already one of the other
groups showing their environ-
mental – friendly – portable
park to the local TV station.
We took over their spot and
started putting up the game
again. Now even more people
gathered around our world
Tey look interesting. Teir costumes and a funny street game seem to be
realy attractive. Lot of people diferent ages joined their action.
Tey changed their location several times and that seems to work good.
Every location ofered another audience.
Every location is also diferent police ofcer. So police couldn’t get on their
way. Tey did what they wanted to do.
Conclusion: no matter how strange it sounds, but even on the public plac-
es in the middle of the working hours, people like to play games. You will
also feel good if you ofer a nice game. Tan you add some meaning to it
and, voila, you have a great street action!
and threw the
dice to put in
the things they
would like to
see on it. At one
point a group of
was in this world.
We said since it
was just imagi-
nary, it could be
was enough to
get them excited and drawing
a real big Armenia in the world
and putting in as much as they
could roll the dice.. also tak-
ing away buildings from other
“countries”. Te sun was hot,
the people friendly and curious
and after three hours of play-
ing with the world and ideas
of people about globalization,
we thought it was time to end.
Te costumes went of and we
returned to our normal selves
again, still enjoying the after
taste of the day.
Action Title: Culture/Tradi-
Date: Octobre 19, 2006
Place : Opéra Square, Yere-
Content: Questioned Ar-
menia Citizens on ongoing
cultural and traditional issues
and put their ideas on the pa-
per wall on opera square of
Tere were people who
refused to give an interview
arguing that they are in a
hurry, the other part try to
avoid it arguing that they are
not competent in this sort of
questions. For example, we ap-
proached a person and started
interviewing him in Russian.
He shouted, “No, no, no, only
Armenian”. Ten we switched
to Armenian and
he said, “No, no,
it’s better in Rus-
sian”. People re-
ally fnd funny
ways of escaping
of being inter-
who got really interested with
the questions and were eager
to answer them. For instance,
a guy who studied Arts ex-
pressed the ideas he had and
also got interested what is our
aim and who are the organiz-
ers of the action.
People who did give inter-
views seemed to be interested
in the issues we were trying to
discuss, the questions touched
them. As an illustration I’ll tell
about a woman I interviewed
who works in a library and she
was really anxious about Arme-
nian youth. She said that they
had no readers in the library,
only some very old people. She
said ‘Youngsters say that they
are using the Internet, but I
don’t believe, because they do
not speak literally’. Other ex-
Compared to other groups their tool are less efective, less calling. Still
when people come they made nice questions and their location is attrac-
tive. At the end they collecteed quite some material.
Such an attractive location attracted the police as well. Unlike some oth-
er groups they didn’t change their location. Police did chase them away.
Conclusion: if you think that what you are doing is good and you like it
than don’t give it up easy. But even if your action ends up early it is not
a reason to feel bad. Every day is another good reason to make a street
ample is a young man who told
that he cares a lot about his
country and his traditions and
one of the facts proves that he
does is that he chose his native
country to live in instead of liv-
ing abroad where he had some
opportunities to study/work.
A huge paper bearing some
ideas about ongoing cultural
and traditional issues. We also
have got a good video of the
action as we used the camera
to record the interviews but
we have not edited it yet, but
which can show the reactions
of the public.
Well the real aim of each
action is to get attention from
people. During our action
most of the people stopped
and asked diferent questions
about our action. Tey were re-
ally interested and they stayed
with us, plaid in our portable
park, tasted our cookies and
During the action we
changed our place three times
in order to get more peoples at-
tention. And we got it.
We were very friendly and
the people were also friendly,
even if they didn’t understand
what was going on. A lot of
people at the end wished us
good luck. Tere was no one
who said something negative
about our Environment por-
table park and thought trees.
People asked us about the
meaning of the green
cloth and other
things we used.
Tere were also
a lot of tourists
from France and
and they com-
with our action.
But there is one sad point.
People didn’t believe that we
can change something by do-
ing this or that we could have
some results with our action.
Tey had lost their hope. Some
people were a little bit pes-
simistic in the beginning but
later on they participated and
started playing and laughing.
Tey liked our idea a lot.
Te people asked which orga-
nization was organizing this
action. When we described all
of them tried to get more in-
formation about us and asked
for our contacts.
Tere was also an issue with
those two policemen. Tey
tried to stop our action but we
knew that if we were less than
20 people we didn’t need any
kind of license to make this
kind of action!
Well in the end we had done
what we wanted and I think
that everything was really
A lot of fun and good spirit inside the group during the preparation af-
fected the group during the action as well. Before reaching the location
they already make contact with people and use their tools. People like
When they made their setting everything seems to go fne and people are
interested and want to join them. Teir tools are efective and positive.
As with the other groups, police visit their spot as well. Since their action
ismovable, every half an hour they change their location. Police didn’t
spoil their fun. So, the same event afected every group in a diferent
way. Wonder why?
Conlusion: easy plan and good spirit worked out the best possible way.
Don’t drink alcohol;
Don’t make use of monuments, statues if you don’t
know the value or meaning of it, so that you don’t in-
Don’t leave a mess behind you;
Don’t argue (never) with people;
Don’t push - If one is not interested or negative, there
is another one out of 6 billion on this world;
Don’t stick too much to your plan;
Don’t wait, be proactive, approach people;
Whatever happens, don’t panick;
Don’t give up easy, there is always a better way.
Prepare yourself well, design backup plans;
Speak with one mouth;
Try to put yourself in a audience perspective;
Do a rehearsal somewhere;
Open up, be cool;
Be friendly and in a good mood;
Try to create a humorous climate in order to make par-
ticipants feel more comfortable;
Tink of the process, enjoy it;
Always think of the message you want to send;
Do a crazy thing!
Afterwards, go together for a beer.
Te action is over. Celebration about
it is over as well. Maybe you are ex-
tremely happy and you are telling to
your parents all about it until they
fall asleep. Maybe you are also sad
enough to decide never to do it again,
or angry enough never to say hello to
any of your group members again.
But since you are reading this there
is a hope that you would like to do it
If you plan to do so, you need to go
trough another very important step.
Tat step is called refection and what
you need to do is to go back to every
phase of your action and analyze it
step by step.
So, did you reach your message? How
did people react? How did you feel?
What about your tools and materials?
Did you already see things that could
be changed, improved? And many
other questions will guide you to a
better understanding of everything
that happened. You will also realize
how some things work and what to do
to make things better.
It happens that there are diferent
opinion about the actions inside the
group. Put it all down, and try to un-
derstand each other. Street actions
are a matter of many people, so ev-
eryone might have something to add.
And don’t try to tap yourselves on the
shoulders. If you want to make it bet-
ter next time, be critical, no need to make things better than
they were. Of course, balance is needed there as well. If you are
too negative, going out to the street next time might not work
At the end, if your action produced some kind of material, e.g.
survey, texts, paintings, video recordings. Tan this is the time
to go trough it and make something nice of it. If you liked your
action, think of a follow-up as well. Maybe you can do it again
with diferent people, tools, materials or you can just change a
place or even make an artistic caravan an go around the planet
few times. Once you did a street action there is no way back!
On the next pages will see how did we refect on our actions.
Were we realistic enough, positive or negative? At the end there
is an example of an evaluation form. Feel free to use it and up-
Once upon a time, there was
a group of enthusiastic people
that wanted to do an exchange
for a better world. Tey decid-
ed to prepare a street action,
by which they could encourage
youth to change and be more
As the action was supposed
to be demonstrated in Yerevan,
Armenia and since one of the
biggest problems in Armenia
was presidential elections,
they decided to inspire the
Armenian society to use their
right to vote and show to the
government that the future of
the nation is in their hands.
Since in Armenia presidential
elections are not fair enough,
because the people who don’t
vote, later their names are
used against themselves, that
means that the government
steels their names and votes
for corrupted politicians. Why
corrupted, well that’s too easy
to answer, they bribe people
and government to get more
votes to help them become a
president, corrupt our country
and to laugh at all the people
who didn’t vote.
Now after everything is
clear, I will return to the action
part. It was held on 19.10.06
at the Opera Square, that place
was chosen, because it is always
crowded, but unfortunately
the time was not chosen good
enough, it was too early in the
day. Tough we had enough
For our action we had pre-
pared a ballot box with a sign
that says “Please, don’t ignore
me”, ballots, fyers, and, of
course, we had a clown with
Unfortunately there should
be something that is prob-
lematic in the whole action
process. In our case it was the
police interference. Bur over-
all, everything went well, and
people were excited to take
part in our action.
Our basic message was to
make people think of globaliza-
tion and to raise public aware-
ness about globalization itself
it’s dangers, opportunities,
and personal infuence any of
us can have on it. Besides, we
tried to explain that they can
use positive sides of globaliza-
tion in regards of developing
their own country within the
Our struggle to get out
this message to public was not
so efective due to carefully
choosing place, making con-
tact and methods. During the
game and handing out leafets
was not enough time to ex-
plain and deliver our message
fruitfully. People understood
the main idea, but could not
get into details.
Using Loesje texts about
globalization on leafets was
successful because it was in
local language and was an ef-
fective way to deliver our mes-
sage. Tey took those ones at
home which could have been
spread among family mem-
bers, friends, neighbors, and
relatives. Playing a game ‘Let’s
Build Our Ideal World’ with
interaction with local people
to participate their selves, was
a good opportunity for us to
know what people want to
have in ideal world, but it was
not very productive to share
Choosing the park place
near the university was a bit
quiet and less people, so it was
not a good decision to make
our action there, because we
had not an opportunity to com-
municate with group of people
and spread our ideas. On the
other hand, the other place we
moved later called
‘Moscow Square’ was
very crowded, con-
sequently, we had a
chance to make more
people get involved
and spread our ideas
It seemed that
more experienced and
skilled people shared
more or less respon-
sibilities. Mostly, few of the
group members could com-
municate in Russian, so others
were left aside.
People showed interest and
participated in the activity,
though skeptical attitude to-
wards the topic and action itself
was noticed in people. Some-
times, the reaction was de-
pended on age of participants.
Te older ones showed more of
indiferent attitude than young
In general they enjoyed the
Overall evaluation of the
action of the group is positive.
It was good to see how our par-
ticipation developed within
the day. Te group got more
experience to plan an action
and make it. Te action was
good in regards of people were
interested in it, but our mes-
sage was not delivered clearly.
Problems Faced and Ways
for solving them
Posters that we’ve been is-
suing bear the wrong action
date. We noticed that half way
to our location.
Reason: We were in a hurry
and didn’t check the details.
Way of Solving the Prob-
lem: We could prepare the pa-
pers earlier and check it one
more time before printing and
using them. We had to be more
Lack of motivation of the
group – Group members were
not much enthusiastic about
the action, which resulted as a
lower ability to solve ongoing
Reason: Lack of group
Ways of Solv-
ing the problem:
Discuss about ex-
experiences of each
starting the action.
Te way we interviewed
people was not so efective.
Reason: Our plan was to
divide in three groups of two
people, each one with one na-
tive speaker, but in reality, we
became two groups, with one
native speaker in each group.
Te reason for us to be two
groups instead of three, was
that we were sticking the fyers
at the same time. Tis way of
dividing the group, meant that
mainly the Armenian speakers
were interviewing, and the rest
of the participants felt a little
bit lost. Some of the partici-
pants were not really active.
Ways of solving the prob-
lem: Better planning of the ac-
tual action. Dividing the tasks
of what is to be done in the ac-
Police – After 30 minutes
police came and told us that we
had only an hour to be there,
and as we had been there al-
ready for 30 minutes then we
had another half an hour to be
Reason: We didn’t have per-
mission from the government,
as it was not really clear should
we have it or not.
Ways of solving the prob-
lem: We had to consult with
police and governmental struc-
tures before the action. Tis
would have eradicated future
Language Barrier – Many
action participants couldn’t
speak the local language, so
some of us had to question
people in English. As a result
we didn’t get as deep answers,
as the Armenian speaking in-
Reason: We couldn’t have
all the local people in one
Ways of solving the prob-
lem: We should have planned
the action better, and not done
the interviewing and the stick-
ing at the same time. If we
would have done it separately
we could have had more sup-
port of our few Armenian par-
Te environmental action
was an overall success because
the public was very interested
and positive in the activities.
People asked questions, inter-
acted with activists and were
content and happy with the
engagement in the action, in-
cluding eating cookies, playing
in the park and contemplating
what trees could say.
Tere were many positive
reactions, curious children,
lots of humour in the reactions
and anything that lacked in
the action plan was made up
by quick improvisation by the
For example, to get people
more involved in the park
scenerio, we invited them to
draw fowers and pictures on
the fake grass. After the action
the interaction with the public
continued as passersby wrote
things on the tree signs and
noticed the message.
Although the action was
positive there were a few prob-
lems that would have been
avoided or could be avoided if
the action is repeated.
It would have helped to
have a leafet in retrospect be-
cause interested people were
asking for contact details of
a local organisers and other
It would have been helpful
to have briefng before the ac-
tions so everyone would have
a clear message and how they
should behave with the public,
media and police.
More preparation for what
to expect, how to react, what
to say. We could have prepared
points for interviews or how
to have the public more inter-
active, example to make their
own “tree signs”.
We could have had more
clear roles in terms of what we
each do and when to rotate the
Tere was some confusion
with materials and last min-
ute arrangements for sports
equipment, radio, etc. Tese
items would have added accent
to the actions to make the mes-
sage more clear and give the
activists something to do and
more reasons to interact with
With more people in the ac-
tion we could have had a bigger
presence and had clearer tasks
– to either be a tree, a police
person, a public spokesperson,
A clear start/stopping time
would have made the action
go more smoothly. We were
ambitious to also perform a
garbage clean-up but there
was not enough time or people
resources to do this. So some
people were still confused
about the message of the ac-
tion, this could have been
stated more clearly with signs
when we were walking around
the city or at the action loca-
tions themselves (so, example,
things about the environment
or lack of public space).
Part One - Message
Describe your message:
How clear was your message?
Did people understand it?
Are you satisfied with your message in total?
Part two - Tools
Describe the tools have you used in your action:
How difficult were your tools to produce?
How innovative were they?
How connected were your tools to each other?
How related were your tools to the message?
Are you satisfied with your tool in total?
Part three – Place(s)
Describe your place(s)
How did your place fit with your tools?
How frequent was your place?
Are you satisfied with your place(s) in total?
Part four – Contact
Describe in which ways have you tried to make contact with your public
(which actions did you undertake):
How well did you combine your personal activity with other tools?
How inventive were you in using your personal skills?
Are you satisfied with your personal activity in total?
Part five – Reaction
Describe in short reactions of your public to your action
How did your audience react to your message?
How did your audience react to the tools you have used?
How did your audience react to your personal performances?
Are you satisfied with the reaction of your audience in total?
Part six – Overall
What was the best thing that happened during you action, and why?
What was the worst thing that happened during your action?
Give more comments:
You came home, hanged your hat
and your coat. As your shues stop
torturing your feet and you are
back to the comfort of your sofa,
your memories surround you...
Tis is the end of our journey.
We have travelled through all the
phases of making a street action.
Behind ourselves we have left a
message, a thing to talk about,
a troyan horse in people’s heads.
Te more they think about it, the
In the other way, this is not the
end, but the beginning or just one
episode. We move on and carry all
that we experienced with us into
So, come on, don’t be bitter now.
Tere are many more places to vis-
it, many more people to meet and
many, more good actions to make.
Tis world is still not perfect.
Until the next time!
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