For Marc Martí, the Behind the Mask project gives a new dimension to the work of health workers and at the same time generates a dialogue with the everyday life of the neighbourhoods. By sticking these portraits all over Barcelona, we bring their reality closer to that of the rest of the citizens. They are posters that make us reflect, value and remember all their effort and dedication. A struggle that, after a year, continues tirelessly.
Behind the Mask is a social project that aims to raise public awareness of the importance of the work of health workers and to offer society as a whole a collective opportunity for recognition and gratitude, through an urban and digital intervention. The initiative, promoted by the Mandaruixa Design studio and Co-Laboratori, proposes a creative look at the situation created by the pandemic with multiple approaches: from the testimonies and experiences of health, administrative and service staff working in hospitals, to patients and families.
With this action, Barcelona wants to join other capitals around the world that have expressed their gratitude for the work of health workers through large-format photographic exhibitions (Paris, New York), documentaries (Venice) and street posters (London). These campaigns attracted the attention of designers Sergi Parreño and Maya Rolando of the Barcelona studio Mandaruixa Design. "We saw that in the big capitals there were thank-you campaigns that used art and design. In contrast, in our country there was a lack of initiatives of this type and, in the midst of confinement, we decided to promote the Behind the Mask project", they explain.
With the launch of the project, hundreds of images of faces of health professionals wearing masks are being reproduced, distributed and exhibited using all available urban communication media in Barcelona. Thus, a collaboration agreement has been established with Renfe and Cercanías de Cataluña and, since the first week of April, the posters have been placed on their advertising supports. At the same time, the company Marc Martí, which manages advertising media, has joined the project and will hang posters of the campaign in various places around Barcelona. The printing of the posters will be carried out by HP, with its collaborative printing technologies, together with Kammerer, the paper supplier.
So far, 1,000 posters have been printed with a size of 70x100, 2000 DIN-A3 and 40 120x176cms. They can already be seen hanging in the streets of Barcelona and in different vending machines of the Renfe-Cercanías de Cataluña network and mupis.
The action can also be found on the screens inside Renfe trains as well as on its website and social networks. At the same time, the company Marc Martí will distribute the large-format posters on its advertising columns throughout the city of Barcelona. The small-format posters will be distributed to shops and establishments in the city.
Behind the Mask in Hospitals
In addition, work is being done to bring Behind the Mask to the main hospitals in the country so that photographs of healthcare staff can also cover part of the façades of the centres where they work. The Hospital del Mar has already confirmed its participation in the project with its associated centres (Hospital de la Esperanza, Centro Forum and Centro Doctor Emili Mira), which will be the backdrop for the initiative, paying tribute to their staff. At the same time, the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital has also recently joined the project and, in the coming weeks, both health centres will place the Behind The Mask images of their staff in their facilities.
A repository with all the stories
Each of the images incorporates a unique identifying QR code that links to the project website and reveals the identity and story of the person behind the mask. The website will function as a repository for all the images provided individually and digitally processed. In addition, the hashtag #behindthemask_life has been activated on social networks so that citizens can share photographs of the campaign posters scattered around the city.
A project that wants to break down borders
The team behind the project wants the initiative to grow to other cities in Catalonia and Spain and, in fact, the project's website already includes photographs and testimonies from all over Spain, with health workers from Barcelona, Tarragona, Tortosa, Bilbao, Valladolid and Madrid.
"Basically, we want to offer public recognition to a whole sector that every day fights battles, terrible, sad but also hopeful stories, beyond numbers and statistics. We want to show that all this happens behind the masks to which we have become accustomed. But behind them there are professionals who are people like us, with their lives, their stories, their problems, who are still here to help us and give us their best professional side", say Sergi Parreño and Maya Rolando from Mandaruixa Design.