Surprise

Basel, Switzerland
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INSP Awards: 2017 Winners Announced!

Find out who took home the 12 coveted awards at the 2017 INSP Awards, held in Manchester, UK.

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INSP Awards: Best Campaign Finalists for 2017

Six impressive campaigns from our street papers have made it as finalists – time to find out all about them.

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INSP Awards: Discover the 2017 Best News Feature Finalists

Our top five have been chosen – see if your favourite nominee has made the cut to become a finalist!

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Summer cover-lovin’: our round-up of July’s covers

We’ve been having a blast looking at the highlights from July of what our network has been producing.

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Our round-up of June’s street paper covers

June has been and gone in a flash – but we’ve taken time to stop and look back on a superb month of street paper covers.

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INSP Awards: Discover our Best News Feature Nominees for 2017

This year’s nominees for Best News Feature are in – take a look at the stories that have captured our imagination and made the longlist.

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INSP Awards: Best Cultural Feature Nominees for 2017

What do Game of Thrones, Jon Bon Jovi and a street cat named Bob have in common? They’re all topics of our Best Cultural Feature nominees in this year’s INSP Awards!

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Refugee couple fight to be reunited for their wedding

In December 2015 Laila, a refugee from Yemen, and Toufik, a Moroccan looking for a better life, went to the immigration office to get papers for their wedding. Instead he was arrested and deported. Surprise tells the story of their fight to be reunited.

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Our vendors: Heiko Schmitz (Surprise, Basel, Switzerland)

In 2013, Heiko lost his job, his marriage and his apartment. He lived under a bridge for two years. Just as he was getting help, his daughter died and he turned to drink, but he has managed to turn things around again. Now he is a Surprise vendor, and a city tour guide.

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Invisible People: artist documents where Greek homeless people sleep

Swiss photographer Eva Borner reveals the sleeping places of homeless people in Athens – with a little help from Shedia vendor Michalis.

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Our vendors: Roger Meier (Surprise, Bern, Switzerland)

Roger Meier used to work in construction: he helped renovate the concrete walls of the Mühleberg nuclear power plant and once plastered a concrete dam. Now he sells Surprise at the Bärenplatz in Bern.

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#VendorWeek road trip: Surprise’s Swiss tour to promote vendors

This week, Surprise staff will pile into the back of an old VW van for a #VendorWeek promotional tour of Switzerland. The travelling exhibition will feature vendors’ stories, choral performances, alternative city tours – and free tea and cake.

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Vendor wishes: “My only wish is to be with my two kids and grandson”

In the last of our vendor wishes series, Surprise vendor Tatjana tells us she hopes to be reunited with her family in Switzerland in the coming year.

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October global street paper covers get scary

Between Halloween and Trump, there’s a frighteneing vibe on this month’s international street paper covers. Thank god for Street Cat Bob…

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Our vendors: Andreas Hossmann (Surprise, Basel, Switzerland)

Andreas has worked in the stock exchange and even transported works of art with a revolver at his side. He shares his life lessons from the top to hitting rock bottom.

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Olympic fever gripped world’s street papers this August

August’s street paper covers have the Olympic spirit, featuring ‘cuddly lawnmowers’, a homeless wedding, Steven Spielberg, and a cheeky little bit of rickrolling.

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Our vendors: Ruedi Kälin (Surprise, Zurich, Switzerland)

Homeless World Cup special! Ahead of this year’s tournament – which kicks off in Glasgow this Sunday – INSP caught up with Surprise vendor Ruedi Kälin, who has been selected for the Swiss team.

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Hard-hitting, striking… phizz-whizzing: it’s June’s street paper covers

A gloriumptious look at the world of Roald Dahl, a red-haired mischief-maker, a mafia flower plot and Yanis Varoufakis at the INSP Summit… explore June’s street paper covers.

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Street paper vendors among hundreds of Homeless World Cup players heading to Glasgow

The Homeless World Cup kicks off in Glasgow on Sunday – we caught up with some of the players who are also street paper vendors.

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“We need to be brave”: street paper response to refugee crisis

During a panel discussion on the global refugee crisis, those on the frontline in Greece urged street papers to use their unique position in the media to put a human face on crisis and encourage solidarity.

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INSP Awards: striking street paper cover finalists revealed

From the political to the cultural, the bold and beautiful covers selected as finalists for the INSP Awards underscore the creativity in our network. Check out our final five ahead of the INSP Awards in Athens next week.

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Campaigning and celebrating with April’s street paper covers

The mood in the network feels celebratory this April, with some big anniversaries and some big names. Street paper covers applaud some true heroes – including Luke Skywalker, Korean escapees, and our vendors.

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INSP Awards: discover the top 10 street paper covers for 2015/16

From the political to the cultural – and Beyoncé to Jesus Christ – the range of hard-hitting and beautiful covers nominated for the INSP Awards underscores the creativity in our network.

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INSP Awards: best cultural writing from street papers 2015/16

Johnny Rotten vies with Taylor Swift, Pixar takes on a former prima ballerina, and roller derby fans echo Gloria Steinem’s feminism… it can only be the best of street paper cultural reporting!

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German language street papers gather in Nuremberg

Representatives from 16 papers discussed crowdfunding successes, marketing hacks and vendor strategies during the intensive two-day meeting.

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Mi Valedor: Swiss street paper Surprise finds Mexican colleagues continuing battle against poverty

Surprise journalist Ana Felker meets with vendors and staff at Mi Valedor in Mexico City. She finds a team who are fighting for the opportunity to make a living, in a country where nearly half the population live in poverty.

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Our Vendors: René Mocellin (Surprise, Switzerland)

René Mocellin sells Surprise, in Basel, Switzerland. After penning his autobiography, he took to the selling the street paper to help him through his retirement.

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Green-fingered vendor finds new vocation, but won’t stop selling street paper

Despite his new job with a landscaping company in Bern, Tesfamikael Hailemikael still sells Swiss street paper Surprise. But his reason for doing so has nothing to do with money, he says.

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Rock gods to proud vendors: February’s street paper covers are out of this world

From rock gods to proud vendors, February’s street paper covers featured lots of fascinating and inspiring people. Explore the world’s street papers here.

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Swiss street paper puts international colleagues on the map for #VendorWeek

To celebrate #VendorWeek, INSP’s Swiss member put street papers on the map – literally!

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World’s street papers celebrate #VendorWeek 2016

It’s only Day 2 and INSP’s fourth international #VendorWeek is already in full swing. Here’s how dozens of street papers are joining the celebration worldwide.

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Cambodian vendor on fleeing the Khmer Rouge and losing his family

Continuing our #VendorWeek series of articles about street paper vendors, we meet Sokha Roth, who escaped the Kymer Rouge’s regime of terror as a child. His freedom came at a steep price.

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#VendorWeek: Swiss street paper invites readers to swap places with vendors

Think you have what it takes to sell a street paper? Surprise is challenging readers to swap roles with their favourite vendor in #VendorWeek events across Switzerland next month.

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Our vendors: Ramadan Mohamed (Surprise, Basel, Switzerland)

Ramadan Mohamed sells Surprise in Bern, Switzerland after having escaped detention in Eritrea. Read about his journey to Switzerland and his struggle to find housing in the city.

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“Everyone wants to know about my life”: Surprise’s celeb vendor Ruedi Kälin

“Well, I’m 57 now and have been selling the street magazine Surprise in Zurich for the past fourteen years…”

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Street paper vendors star in hit book portraying “an authentic and intimate view of poverty in Switzerland”

Swiss journalist Olivier Joliat has interviewed Metallica and Queens of the Stone Age be he says the homeless and formerly-homeless vendors of Swiss street paper Surprise are more interesting.

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INSP Advent Calendar: day eight

Open today’s window to meet Rita in Switzerland! Each day before Christmas, we have a message from one of our street paper vendors.

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Explore dozens of this month’s brilliant street paper covers

The Pope, Bond, Naomi Klein, great illustrations… and a blue wolf. It must be November’s street paper covers.

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Our vendors: Ali Nur Mohamed (Surprise – Basel, Switzerland)

Attacked by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab in his native Somalia, it was a miracle that Ali Nur Mohamed was not killed. He has found safety and hope selling Swiss street paper Surprise in Basel. He tells his story.