Transforming Bank Lobbies

Written by Amanda Starbuck

Topics: Direct Action

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Someone once wrote that a bank is like a giant squid wrapped around the face of humanity. And it feels as if banks have overwhelmed the neighborhood, as I walk just two blocks around my office this lunch hour, counting six different bank branch lobbies along the way. They all reach to grab my attention with their colorful branding and alluring offers of loans, interest rates, convenience and customer service.

But it doesn’t have to be this way – these bank lobbies are spaces that can be transformed, reclaimed and turned inside-out. An exciting new movement is sweeping the nation (and beyond). A new website FearOfBanking showcases radical, theatrical, creative protest: performed in bank lobbies.

Billionaire for CoalThanksgiving Dinner at Bank of America

A thanksgiving dinner is served in Bank of America for a lady who lost her home to foreclosure, mini-mounds of sacrificial mountain mud are installed in Chase ATM lobbies, a solemn funeral for coal in a Belgian branch of BNP Paribas. Each of these actions is designed to bring the ‘hidden’ impacts of bank behavior into the public view of the bank lobby, to stimulate discussion and press for change.

FearOfBanking is not just a showcase – it’s a resource, to fuel and stimulate your plans and actions. So check it out, get inspired and then get creative in your nearest bank lobby.

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