Greek Artist Defaces European Currency To Highlight Crisis

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Photo: Stefanos (banknotes.gr) via Design Boom
Photo: Stefanos (banknotes.gr) via Design Boom
Photo: Stefanos (banknotes.gr) via Design Boom
Photo: Stefanos (banknotes.gr) via Design Boom
Photo: Stefanos (banknotes.gr) via Design Boom
Photo: Stefanos (banknotes.gr) via Design Boom
Photo: Stefanos (banknotes.gr) via Design Boom
Photo: Stefanos (banknotes.gr) via Design Boom
Photo: Stefanos (banknotes.gr) via Design Boom
Photo: Stefanos (banknotes.gr) via Design Boom

Greek artist Stefanos has been modifying Euro banknotes for an entire year to reflect his country’s economic, political and social problems, Design Boom reports. The artist draws chaotic scenes on the currency with a fountain pen. Each banknote is scanned for documentation purposes and then put back into circulation.

The artist told Design Boom “For the last five years the crumbling Greek economy has hatched violence and social decay, so I decided to fuse these two things.” The European Union imposed stringent austerity measures on Greece under the terms of the €110 billion bailout signed in 2010.

The black ink doodles depict primitive stick figures in situations that explore the themes of freedom, revolution, death and decomposition through satire. For example, a €100 note was added the silhouette of the grim reaper standing under an arch, and a €50 note shows a group of stick figures breaking and entering through a window of a mansion.

Stefanos explained, “Through hacking the banknotes I’m using a European a document that is in cross-border circulation, including Greece, thus the medium allows me to ‘bomb’ public property from the comfort of my home.”

By using the medium of Euro notes, Stefanos hopes that his critical, Eurosceptic message will be heard throughout the continent.

Greece was one of the countries hit hardest by the Eurozone debt crisis. According to Statista in 2014 the total unemployment rate reached 25.76%.


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