Stamp of approval

A mug shot of Berlin socialist icon, Rosa Luxemburg, is being used to make a new kind of feminist statement - on your post! The custom made stamps were the result of a crowdfunding campaign by a Kreuzberg-based artist to honour the famous Berliner.

Image for Stamp of approval

Photo by Jeanne Fredac. More than 4500 Rosa Luxemburg stamps have been sold.

If the only letters you send are to the Finanzamt, you may not be up to date with the Deutsche Post’s latest philatelic offerings – they actually produce custom-made stamps with a motif of your choice. At €29.95 for a sheet of 20, they’re not cheap, but the more you order, the better the price. An avid epistolarian herself, Kreuzberg-based French artist Jeanne Fredac saw the potential to use the scheme to make a feminist statement. In honour of Rosa Luxemburg, who died in Berlin 100 years ago, Fredac took two of her paintings of the socialist icon and, with the help of the year-long A Stamp For Rosa crowdfunding campaign, turned them into her own ‘limited edition’ design. Based on mug shots taken in a Warsaw prison in 1906, the 60x80cm original paintings were first shown in the Charlottenburg gallery of German-Austrian women’s artist group GEDOK to celebrate a century of women’s suffrage. In pop art style, the stamps are meant to highlight Luxemburg’s modern political thought and her audacity to live as an unmarried, independent woman way ahead of her time. The crowdfunding campaign helped Fredac sell 4500 stamps by early August and order an additional 1000, which she now offers for sells at €25 a sheet of 20 – cheaper than having the Post print a set with your dog on it. And who knows, your tax officer might appreciate the gesture.