Full-HD, 2:15 min, sound
Pro-Protest is a company that has taken Eastern Europe by storm. With offices in major cities across the region, it has been at the forefront of organizing protests since the '90s.. Launched in 1989, the company is constantly growing and always looking for new faces to join the team and its activities.
The company's success is rooted in the ability to mobilize people from all walks of life, regardless of their age, political affiliation or beliefs. One of the most impressive aspects of Pro-Protest is the expertise in using technology to utmost advantage. The company has a robust social media presence and uses messaging apps to communicate with paid protesters in real-time – thus everyone is on the same page and has the information needed to act accordingly.
The lucrative business of Pro-Protest has faced its fair share of challenges, including opposition from some governments and law enforcement agencies. However, the company is as always committed to ensure that all its events are conducted efficiently.
We had an end-to-end encrypted video chat with the CEO of Pro-Protest, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Q: How did you come up with the idea of starting Pro-Protest, and what motivated you to do so?
A: We were fielding requests - to conduct protests in support or opposition to a particular political issue. It all started in the early '90s. We pioneered the 'supporter-for-hire' business in Eastern Europe. There is an American start-up called “Crowds-On-Demand” but they launched in 2012 and seem to be copying our business model.
Q: What is your next event?
A: A protest in Sofia, Bulgaria concerning the talks for a new cabinet. It's an event we're doing in coordination with various parties.
Q: How many people can you activate for such an event?
A: We have various 'protest package' deals. You can start small – let's say up to 50 people. For bigger crowds of 1,000 and more, we have discounts.
Q: Who is using your services?
A: Those, who want to increase their influence, visibility, and social footprint. Politicians mainly. Of course, we provide total anonymity to our clients.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: We offer different service packages. You can order protesters/performers just for the sake of their presence, for example; or you can have a specific number of people performing at the highest levels of orchestrated engagement with signs, chants, and crowd flow. We also work with Ultras’ groups who could bring your protest or counter-protest to the next level of political and/or physical impact.
Q: What makes Pro-Protest so unique compared to other companies?
A: We pride ourselves on being inclusive and nonpartisan.
At the heart of Pro-Protest‘s mission is the belief that people have the power to effect change and change does not come for free. The company has made a significant impact on the political scene in Eastern Europe. Its commitment to all kinds of protests, combined with its innovative skill set, the use of technology, and the passion for social change while (de)stabilizing democracy has made it a powerful force to be reckoned with.
Veneta Androva graduated History of Art and Philosophy from Humboldt University Berlin and also obtained a degree in Fine Arts/Sculpture from Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin. In her artistic practise she is combining diverse media and sources such as archival, documentary or computer generated material and painting, all related through animation in simulated environments. She took part in numerous shows in Germany and Bulgaria, as well as Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain and in Israel, where she did part of her study at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2016-2017.
Androva is also the recipient of several scholarships, such as Elsa-Neumann-Scholarship, Artist Scholarship from Cusanuswerk, Mart Stam Scholarship and was nominated in 2020 with her work ‘From My Desert’ for the German Short Film Award. Recently she received Prix Ars Electronica 2021 – Award of Distinction for her film ‘AIVA’ in category ‘Computer Animation’, as well as Golden Horseman for Animated Film and LUCA Gender Diversity Award at Filmfest Dresden. Her films have been selected to screen at numerous international film festivals, including: International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film; ARS ELECTRONICA – Festival for Art, Technology and Society; MONSTRA Lisbon Animated Film Festival; FILE Electronic Language International Festival; European Media Art Festival (EMAF); Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, Go Short – International Short Film Festival Nijmegen, Sofia International Film Festival, Short Waves Festival, 25FPS International Film and Video Festival, Short Film Festival Hamburg.