Dit zijn onze Helden

Sculpture, website — 2020

Dit zijn onze Helden, by Platform BK & Yuri Veerman

On the Malieveld in The Hague, ten symbolic figures, representing ten different professions, stand next to each other: a stock clerk, an artist, a cleaner, a rubbish collector, a teacher, a nurse, a police officer, a journalist, a prime minister and the CEO of KLM. Each figure is put on a pedestal, the height of the pedestal is determined by the height of the average annual salary of each profession. Some figures nearly reach the ground, while others touch the sky.

Artists supporting the CEO of KLM (height equals salary ex. bonus) 

Dit zijn onze Helden (For our Heroes) was installed on May 20th 2020, while the Dutch government was giving a press conference about COVID-19 support measures, just a few blocks away. The title ‘For our Heroes’ refers to the sudden resurgence of war terminology used by politicians during the COVID-19 pandemic: fighting the virus is called a ‘battle’, the virus is the ‘enemy’ and nurses, teachers, doctors, even stock clerks, are suddenly referred to as ‘heroes’. This begs the question: how much does a hero earn?

A few hours later, we were gone

Next to the intervention on the Malieveld in The Hague, we launched  ditzijnonzehelden.nl. The website tells a short socio-economic story for each of the professions. We also added the CEOs of two other Dutch multinationals: Shell and Booking.com and added a bonus function called ‘bonus’. If we would have made these extra sculptures in real life, the Booking.com pillar would have measured over two hundred and fourty two meters in height: over fourty times the hight of the CEO of KLM and four hundred times as much as an average Booking employee. Inspite of its hardcore capitalist mentality, Booking.com was one of the first companies to ask for government aid, during the corona pandemic.

Dit zijn onze Helden
by Yuri Veerman & Platform BK
The Netherlands, 2020

— Campaign
Client: Platform BK
Concept and design: Yuri Veerman
Coordination: Joram Kraaijeveld, Rune Peitersen

— Sculptures
Pedestal design and production: Maurice Bogaert
Figure design and production: Sanja Medic en Yuri Veerman
Volunteers: Sanne Lips, Liesje Knobel, Sofie Doeland, Francois Lombarts, Sybren de Boer, Rogier Cloin, Kevin Bauer, Bas de Boer, Jeremi Biziuk, Iver Dahl

— Website
Web design & development: Vincent Meertens en Floris Douma
Research and tekst: Lisa Peters
Translations: Felix van der Vorst en Hannah Vernier

— Video
Video: Chris Rijksen
Text & voice over: Yuri Veerman
Music: Diederik Idenburg

— Photos
© Sjoerd Knibbeler

Thank you
Yu-Lan van Alphen, Yasser Ballemans, Bas de Boer, Erna Bosschart, Willeke te Flierhaar, Herrie Hoogenboom, Marije Kaashoek, Michiel Kruijff, Wesley van der Linden, Ruud Nederveen, Ifor Schrauwen, Marianna Takou, Cihan Ugural, Wessel Verrijt, Caroline Weber, Maxim Hartman

BankGiro Loterij Fonds
Pictoright Fonds
FNV Schoonmaak en Migrant Domestic Workers
FNV voor Mediamakers
FNV #voor14
Creatieve Coalitie
Casco Art Institute
VDG de la Roy
X-Y Actiefonds


More info
For more information about Dit zijn onze Helden, you can check the Platform BK website.

Reformatorisch Dagblad (NL)
Reddit (NL)
Rabobank (NL)
Boekman (NL)
Metropolis M (NL)
non-issue (NL)