Mystery protester, Aberdeen


Vinyl stickers created for donation boxes in Aberdeen City, April 2007


The Mystery protester, article in The Press & Journal, 3rd April, 2007


Keith and Colin, two former street beggars, donation box with stickers on Union Street, Aberdeen, April 2007


Aberdeen City Council’s so-called donation boxes were an attempt to discourage people from giving money to street beggars. In April 2007 the boxes were mounted on various locations in the city centre, carrying the logo: Give a hand up - not a hand out, and further text: ’The best way you can help people who street beg in Aberdeen is to donate to this box. 100% of all donations will go to help people in genuine need’.

New Social Art School designed some special stickers for the boxes and for the city, trying to raise public awareness to the fact that Aberdeen has little to offer in terms of help and services for street beggars, mainly drug addicts and homeless, and petty donations will make no difference for people on the streets, who are in genuine need.

The stickers were stuck onto the donation boxes the night after they were installed, and prompted an article in the newspaper Press & Journal where, for the first time, the street begging issue was commented on by people who had direct experience with street begging. The ‘Mystery protester’ article was seen as a success by the people on the streets of Aberdeen.


Project by Eva Merz and various members of the New Social Art School


Funded with a Castlehill and Pittodrie Community Council grant


More information about the project: - Respect