So, earlier in the year we had an ambitious idea of putting together a postcard exhibition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of postcards, collecting images and messages from around the world to showcase our collective love for this small format of communication. We contacted a few people and then the opportunity came up to do this exhibition at the UPU, an incredibly important institution that brings all post offices together in cooperation.
They had lots of walls in their headquarters in Bern, though most of them were covered in art… except this one, a huge 10 meter wall divided in 2, on their ground floor lobby. It was black and had the peculiarity of having over 200 deactivated mailboxes on it. Postcards like mailboxes though, don’t they? It seemed like the perfect match, so we decided to go for it!
We received hundreds of postcards in the past couple of months on the call-for-postcards we launched for this exhibition. Choosing just a few of them was a hard job — some were gorgeous works of art, others had heartfelt messages and many were both!
While choosing the postcards to take, we noticed that many of them would be tricky to hang on a wall due to their thickness or odd shape. Also, some of the postcards only made sense if people could see both sides… so we came up with a solution: since we were sticking postcards on mailboxes, why not opening one and leaving some postcards there for people to browse?
This turned out to be a good call, as the “Browse me” encouraged people to get up and close with the postcards, giving them permission to touch and interact with the exhibition. For us personally, it also helped ease some of the pressure of picking just the right postcards, as we could bring a lot more of them!
Some of you have asked whether we’ve taken pictures of every postcard displayed, and I’m afraid we have not. Carefully shooting every single one would have taken a lot longer than the time we had. We brought as many postcards as we could to Switzerland though, posted some images on the 150yearsofpostcards.com website, and are planning to take some more photos of the postcards and their messages when they return to us at the end of October. We don’t want you to feel sad if yours didn’t end up at the UPU — all the postcards we’ve received are unique and so very appreciated. 💛
So finally, here is the result:
We’re very glad that everything went well, and that we were able to successfully display your messages, images and mini-masterpieces at the UPU. Although the building isn’t open to the public, many delegates from post offices all around the world will get to see and read your postcards throughout this month, while they attend the many events that are happening in October. We hope they too understand how special postcards are in the digital age, and what role they play in connecting our lives — and, indeed, the whole world.
And lastly, here’s a little making-of video of the whole setting up operation that we shot with a borrowed camera. 😊 It took 2 days to put together, with a lot of time spent cutting and measuring. Enjoy!
PS – Our big thank you to Olfa and Stéphane UPU’s philately department, for making this possible!