On the 26. of February 1992 18.305 legal inhabitants of Slovenia were erased from the Permanent Population Register of the Republic of Slovenia without being notified, without procedure, without any written order or legal ground.
In order to make a strong statement about this sad problem, the Slovenian design Studio Poper in collaboration with Amnesty International, The Peace Institute and The Municipality of Ljubljana started a public intervention in the streets of Ljubljana.
The Stories of the Erased are the message which can be seen all over the city on billboards, bus stops, shop windows, traffic lights and other various printed material.
It’s one of the saddest stories I ever heard of, but also a brilliant public intervention.
The Erased is the common name for 18,305 individuals who at the time of independence had a registered permanent residence in Slovenia and are mostly of a nationality other than Slovenian. On February 26, 1992, they were unlawfully removed (erased) from the Registry of Permanent Residents of Slovenia. They were not informed of the removal from the registry, which was carried out without any legal procedure. Due to losing the status of permanent residents they were deprived of numerous rights, such as: the right to social security, access to the health system/insurance, the possibility of employment, the right to unemployment protection, the right to protection (arising from the regulated status in Slovenia), access to the educational system and other rights. The Erased are still a stigmatized social group and they encounter various difficulties: from identity to political, economic and cultural. Most of them are members of other nationalities of the former Yugoslavia though Slovenians can be found among them.
The people of Slovenia are divided, as it was expected due to nationalistic bases of the problem. 2008 is election year and the topic has been used by both wing politicians to gain points.
All work for the project (initiative, concept, creative, design, content, organization and coordination) was done pro bono by Studio Poper. Amnesty International and the Peace Institute plus some legal advisors helped editing correct facts and the Peace Institute provided the project authentic stories.
The production of all printed materials were financed by various donators, mostly printing houses. The big stencil on the façade was paid by the investor of house renovation on initiation of City of Ljubljana.
The project can use your help too by signing the e-petition, which will be given to the Slovenian Minister of the Interior.
The Stories of the Erased website is available in Slovenian and English.
The text on stickers is saying: “Press the button and wait forever.”
Stories of the Erased