Have you heard about World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), 3rd of May 2006? I hadn’t until a friend found the site that Loesja, an international NGO funded by the European Cultural Foundation, put up to promote their writing workshop that will be taking place in many countries around the world on the day. The work of which will be compiled into a book and send around the world. I spent the day in their Berlin office and found out more about this girl called Loesja.
Loesja’s focus is hard to define, and searching around the web doesn’t seem to help much, but on the surface their main focus would seem to be group writing and designing of posters that are designed to provoke positive thoughts. Its best put in her own words:
“Together we form a writer’s collective, an NGO, a poster activist group, an international organization, a creative network, a contagious idea – many titles, call it what you will. I’m Loesje, and I’ve given my name to this growing group of world constructors and dreamers, people who are helping me to conquer the world.”
Loesje is the name that is always signed on all of the posters produced and is the ‘avatar’ of the idea. The small group who make up the Berlin office spend most of their time organising and giving workshops, and facilitating creative action generally. They also travelling to different countries, to anywhere a Loesjes group might have sprung up, and guild the locals though a Loesje style workshop. These workshops are really just brainstorming sessions for group writing and collaborating mainly for the puroses of producting posters, but not always as in the case of WPFD.
Its hard to gauge the number of Loesje groups as many have started up independently of their own initiative and sometimes more than one in the same city, each unaware of the other until they see a poster they didn’t put up. Although the official language in the organization is English, groups are encouraged to write in there own language and tackle issues that are relevant to their social circumstance.
The underlying concept it quite simple and pure which gives the movement a the appeal of clarity. It does not try to change the world though any single action by any single individual, but instead hopes to change people with the collective creative of many.