The 1916 Easter Rising gave birth to the Irish nation. At Easter 2016, the men and women who died on our streets during that time were celebrated. The Proclamation of Independence was read out by the Rising leaders at the beginning of the fighting. It is the defining national document. It demands that all Irish people treat everyone, and each other, equally. Unfortunately the Irish nation has manifestly not lived up to that ambition. In 2016 more people were living on the streets than at any other time in the history of our country.
To confront this and fuel a growing national debate, we approached the Simon Community with a campaign idea. All elements of the campaign centre on one visual device – the words of the 1916 Proclamation of Independence, hand-written on a standard-issue blue sleeping bag. These sleeping bags are distributed by many homeless charities and have become an icon of the homeless crisis in cities around Ireland. Our 6-sheet poster (which ran in standard formats across the city during Easter week) showed the sleeping bag, with 1 of 2 a simple call to action written on cardboard.
“In 2016, no-one should still be fighting for their lives on the streets of Dublin.” For a special version of this poster, which we called the ‘homeless ad’, we placed the sleeping bag and these pieces of cardboard in various high footfall locations around the city – making the proclamation itself homeless.