A Window To The World

Reading Time: 2 minutes

From children painting rainbows to spread their streets with hope, to letters of recognition to the health service, working long days and nights —during the current pandemic, more than any form of technology, the window has triumphed as an accessible and human way to connect with our communities.

It was only two weeks ago that Maartje Slijpen and Brenda Waegemaekers, the creative team at Dutch advertising agency KesselsKramer, wondered from their own windows, whether they could celebrate this new medium as a subject matter. “If these windows could talk, what would they tell us?”

Athens, Greece. © Vasilis Marmatakis.
Berlin, Germany. © Sarah Fricke.

They reached out to Efthimis Filippou, oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Lobster, Dogtooth and The Killing of a Sacred Dear. “We asked him because of his ability to mix human truths and meaning with light-hearted humour and absurdity,” says Waegemaekers. “We knew we didn’t want to make it too cheesy.”

Filippou was enthused by the project, and finished the screenplay in just a couple of days. The team then reached out to 62 international artists, tasking them with a small part of Filippou’s script, to recreate in their windows.

Zurich, Switzerland. © Annika Hänni.
Tokyo, Japan. © Noel Billet.

“I think the charm of the project is that everyone gets a small part — of course the screenwriter had the biggest — but every artist can focus on just one element, and put their energy into it,” says Waegemaekers.

Admittedly, there were many challenges — working across several timezones was one of them, but also artists who only had access to eighth-floor windows, and unruly punctuation marks (“The full stop flew off!”).

“But having these small roles made our questions smaller too,” says Slijpen. “If you have to come up with something in a day or two, you can’t make your ideas too big. We felt we needed to use this momentum while we could, and everyone involved understood that too”.


Zurich, Switzerland. © Katrin Von Niederhäusern.
Marigold Warner

Deputy Editor

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Deputy Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Elephant, Gal-dem, The Face, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.