Ballot Urns

An installation created in response to the 2016 EU referendum.

During Tito’s National Front regime in the former Yugoslavia, two different ballot urns would often be used at election time. The first one, ornately decorated with flowers and ribbons was for collecting votes for General Tito. The second, for his opposition, would be a bulky tin can. Members of the electorate were given a small rubber ballot, with which to cast their vote. Many stopped to admire the pretty flowers and the fancy bow, watched closely by officials of the national militia.

Struck by parallels between voting practices in Communist Yugoslavia and the tactics employed by the Leave campaign during the EU referendum—in particular well-publicised claims that a weekly £350million would be diverted to the NHS upon exiting the European Union—Ballot Urns visualises the offer made to the British voting public as two very different and misleading ballot boxes.

Ballot Urns was first shown as part of LEAVE/REMAIN at Bank Street Arts, October 2016.