Whose.Agency is a digital advertising campaign on the streets of Leipzig created by German graphic designer Anja Kaiser. The project forms an informal advertising agency that works exclusively for feminist resistance in the form of high-quality, designed classified ads. The project was part of the INFORM Prize for Conceptual Design. Anja used the winning funds from the Prize to set up the website and digital platform to promote feminist causes and support digital self-empowerment.
Already during her studies, she investigated feminism visually and theoretically and graduated with the project Sexed Realities — To Whom Do I Owe My Body?. Anja explains her inspiration: “As in all other areas, it is western and male-dominated historiography that bars a view beyond the eurocentric horizon of the graphic design scene. I’m searching for alternative historiography in graphic design. I’m inspired by designers like Sheila Levant De Bretteville, whose visual practice is shaped by political activism and the Women’s movement in the 60s and 70s in the USA. “ She is active in Leipzig’s club scene and in cooperation with various subcultural spaces and feminist groups, she contributed to many projects and their graphical translation.
Whose.Agency open call - Anja invited networks, political groups, musicians, cultural producers, and artists from the local and international feminist milieu to author a classified ad with free design and placement. Those who wanted to participate could choose from 2 ad categories: WANTED and OFFER and choose their own message - whether a salary demand for reproductive work, a personal ad, a political group statement, or a call for donations.
Whose.Agency utilized Digital City Light Poster signage of the City of Leipzig as a medium, predominantly used for brand staging of commercial entities such as Parship, H&M, City-Branding, etc. Digital City Light Posters are large-format, stand-alone screens installed on retail-dense streets and enable the use of moving images. In the visual translation of the classified ads, Anja works within a purely formal typographic framework, but with the goal to tackle the visual environment and demand a share of the market on their own terms.
With this project, Anja aims to form alliances and to push political, polemical, fictional, emancipatory, or humorous feminist community demands within a setting of goods exchange. She is creating free space with cutting-edge design for those who are marginalized and who are often invisible in the public visual space.
Project Whose.Agency was nominated for the shortlist of the renowned Beazley Design of the Year 2019 and exhibited at the Design Museum in London.