Street papers have found themselves increasingly to be at the centre of the refugee crisis. Higher numbers of people selling street papers across different parts of the world have fled from their home countries due to poverty, persecution and conflict. Not only do street papers have the ability to platform their voices and stories, but they also offer a stable income when a place in the mainstream job market may seem out of reach. Their support beyond simply selling the magazine – assisting in applying for documentation and permits, looking for a new place to live, and language classes – means a pathway to integration into what is sometimes a new and unfamiliar society. Ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June, INSP and its member street papers are helping some refugees – who now work selling street papers – to tell their story.
“I have a job, I have food, I have an apartment, I have my passport.” This is Friday Akpan’s response when asked how he’s doing. Friday, a migrant from Nigeria, arrived in Austria in late 2014 and has worked hard to build a life in Austria. He is thrilled to call Salzburg home. Now, the 33-year-old Apropos vendor, who always has a friendly smile on his face, is working hard to secure the right to remain for his youngest son.
Ion has called Salzburg home for over ten years, but what is home for him is not what is home for us. Ion sleeps on the streets because his circumstances make it impossible to be officially registered in the city. There is another reason, too: he provides for his family in Romania through his work as an Apropos vendor and values his wife and children’s comfort above his own.
Thi Nhin Nguyen arrived in Germany from Vietnam in 1995 and later moved to Salzburg, Austria, where she works as an Apropos vendor. She has built a life for herself in Salzburg and is happy in her work as a vendor, as it enables her to earn an income and to interact with her customers. Her life is one filled with hard work, caring for others and song.
Elena Onice and Fagaras Banu are originally from Romania and are building a life for their family in Salzburg, Austria. But one family member is missing: their six-month-old daughter, Sara-Elena, is in hospital in Romania as she is disabled and needs additional support. Here, the couple talk about their hopes for the future, what happiness means to them and their hope that they will soon be able to visit their young daughter in Romania.
To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Apropos vendors Luise and Andrea talk about being able to gain independence in the years since turning 25.
Sonja Stockhammer isn’t a woman to beat around the bush; nor is she a chatterbox. But through her judicious choice of words she paints a vivid picture of her life and loves. When she met Christina Repolust for an interview, Sonja talked quickly and eloquently about her love for her horses, dogs and cats, her experiences as a street paper vendor and her feeling that anything is possible.
2019 marks INSP’s 25th anniversary, as well as equally remarkable milestones for a number of street papers across the world. Michaela Gründler, the editor-in-chief of Apropos, is also celebrating a landmark: she started working at the Salzburg street paper on 1 February 1999. In this interview, she looks back on the last 20 years and talks about how the image of Apropos has changed, the work that she and her team do behind the scenes and why she loves fairy tales so much.
This year we asked vendors: if you could give a song as a present this Christmas, what would you choose? The result was the INSP Vendor Playlist, which is now available for your listening pleasure. Apropos vendor Eduard wants to give the gift of Bavarian yodelling this Christmas.
As we approach the halfway mark in 2018, take a look back at the covers on sale on the streets of the world this month.
Apropos, the street paper of Salzburg, Austria, recently its 20th anniversary. To mark that, one of its longest serving vendors, Luise Slamanug, sat down with the publication’s chief editor, Michaela Gründler, for an interview about what life has been like at Apropos over the last 20 years.
With Christmas just around the corner, street papers around the world have been getting into the Yuletide spirit and emblazoning their front covers with all things festive!
We bid farewell to September by having a look back at the best of the street paper covers from the month.
As 2016 comes to a close, vendors tell INSP about their hopes for the new year. Today, Apropos vendor Elena says she wants a better life for her son David.