The RA-T Shoeprint Project (2020-2021) is an artistic project that reflects on matters of access: who decides which spaces are accessible and which spaces remain enclosed? How can ordinary people challenge this political distribution of access?
Unlike commissioned public art, what RA-T Shoeprint Project will become is entirely up to its makers and participants. Anyone can take part in any way they see fit. The project starts with a silicone stamp of the letters RA-T that can be taped under a shoe. Paint can then be applied to create a shoe print on any surface. By this means, RA-T Shoeprint Project creates a visual community of wanderers who are actually trespassing as they are leaving their footprints on various urban surfaces. They protest against anti-trespass laws by effectively trespassing and leaving a trace of this transgressive, radical act.
This project reinforces the feeling of community as what was invisible is made visible and activists can cross paths with each other in a composition of shoeprints. Trespassing on walls and fences means trespassing on what stands between different groups of people: prejudice, misconception, intolerance. By making activism playful and colourful, we hope to give a different image of prejudiced groups, such as squatters. We want to show that we are composing together, with all groups under attacks by this law: travellers, rough sleepers, homeless people, migrants, protesters, hunt saboteurs, van dwellers, ramblers, artists, etc.
Walls and fences are political, they are deeply xenophobic and authoritarian device that controls the very way we can move across space. It threatens freedom in its most basic form. It endangers people’s right to live, as seeking shelter is seen as a crime. With walls and fences, authoritarian powers around the world are effectively shaping our planet into a giant concentration camp.
We hope to see these awful walls covered with RA-T footsteps, as an affirmation of our unstoppable freedom to go wherever we want and access places that various adverse powers (capitalists, property owners, the state) are trying to fence off and control. We are walking over your walls in the hope that, one day, we will be able to destroy them. We are showing you that no wall is strong enough to contain our collective desire for emancipation and endless solidarity.