• 09.11.13

Amnesty International’s Burning Paper Figures Mimic Actual Abuse Inflicted On People

They may be paper dolls, but these aren’t the happy-go-lucky chain ones you remember from elementary school. Amnesty International is burning them to highlight human rights abuse.

They may be paper figures, but these aren’t the happy-go-lucky chain dolls you remember from elementary school. A pair of Russian artists known as Peopletoo, have created Fan the Flame, a series of paper sculptures that draw attention to human rights abuses around the globe.


The abuses covered include water boarding, stoning, police brutality, and military executions–all brought to life in unsettling detail. Created for Amnesty International, each paper sculpture depicts an arresting and horrifying scene of violence. The paper is stark white with one exception: a small orange flame that licks the corner of the sculpture, as though the fire has just caught and is about to spread. The implied result, of course, is the incineration of these horrible images–a symbolic end to violence.

About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.