The way it all started…
Spring 2014 in Viersen, a Lower Rhine town:
Roland, an enthusiastic master carpenter, invented the “Bunte Menschen”, the „Bunte Menschen“. He is their „father“. For quite a long time he tried to find out the reaction of people to an information they got, and most of all to an information they didn’t get. As a result he created an information of his own: the “Bunten Menschen” were born. They turned out to be perfect for Roland’s experiment.
He secretly posed two- to threehundred of them in his town and the surrounding area. Soon after the social media as well as the local press heared of the project. What was this all about?
Rumors emerged out of nothing: In middle oft he night a grey van was said to be seen distributing the figures. Some figures, close to a local school, were finally associated with Roland, our carpenter.
Roland was sure, the the people of Viersen would soon know the truth. Therefor he thought of a plan B. He would have to extend his operating range. From then on he didn’t distribute the Bunte Menschen in Viersen alone, but in cities like Cologne too and in the Eifel at hiking trails. For this new task he did need some allies. So he made his project known to friends and acquaintances, who planned to go on holidays. Thus the “Bunte Menschen” soon appeared in Scottland, Austria and even on the Queen Mary. Nobody thought about the carpenter in Viersen anymore. The social media had to find someone else to blame. Some blamed a Belgian artis, others the local governement, who used the figures to point out art events or hot spots in the town.
Roland and his team wondered about the different reactions caused by the campaign.
The Bunte Menschen were found at public places, at festivals and rock concerts. At Christmas time they wore hats, during carnival fool’s caps and they carried Easter eggs at Easter time – and they kept changing their places. Soon Roland and his team were no longer able to cope with their decreasing number, since fans started to collect them.
To celebrate the first anniversary of the Bunte Menschen Roland revealed his plan in spring 2015. He prepared a press release and told his story. This gave rise to a real run on the Bunte Menschen and their father. Everybody wanted to hear Roland’s story. As a result Roland’s original question was answered. The positive reactions were overwhelming and he was sure, that this was just the beginning of a further successful story. The “Bunte Menschen” would become a sign of freedom, human diversity and tolerance.