Part zombie walk, part political protest, part performance art piece, “Welcome to Hell” featured 1,000 activists and artists in Hamburg, Germany to advocate against capitalism, President Trump, and political apathy ahead of the G20 Summit this week. The “performative arts intervention” did not include paid protestors or Norman Reedus (sad!), but it did involve participants marching through the streets covered from head-to-toe in grey clay before shedding their stony outer layer to reveal their bare skin and bright clothing while dancing in the streets. It’s as if “Thriller” took place during the Summer of Love but was shot as an Weimar-era art film.
The organizers explained that the mission of the peaceful protest was simply to call “on the world to make Hamburg a focal point of the resistance against the old and new capitalist authorities.” Emphasis on the word focal. The zombie getups were carefully chosen over mere street presence because the group, known as 1,000 Gestalten, wanted “to create an image, because we believe in the power of images.” The shift from grey scale to color is meant to represent the casting off of individualism and competition to reveal their inner humanity.