How much does a hero earn?

Together on the Malieveld: a shelf clerk, an artist, a cleaner, a garbage collector, a nurse, a teacher, a police officer, a journalist, our Prime Minister, and the CEO of KLM. All of them on a pedestal, but some of them a bit higher than others. We ask: How much does a hero earn?


'For Our Heroes' on the Malieveld, The Hague, 20 May 2020. Photo by Sjoerd Knibbeler.


We erected ten live-size statues to kick off the image campaign ‘For Our Heroes’. The height of each pedestal reflects the income level of each hero. Most of the pedestals are about one meter high, but one of them reaches for the sky. We have also launched the website: ditzijnonzehelden.nl/en. The images on the website are interactive. Behind every image, there is a social-economic story.


Due to the Corona-crisis, many people, companies, even entire sectors are at risk to collapse. Everyone calls for help of the government, that is, of one another. Once of a sudden, solidarity is key; nurses and shelf clerks are heroes, our country is, as the Prime Minister states, ‘deeply socialist’. At the same time, an absurd contrast exists between the esteem expressed towards some professions and the financial appreciation they receive.

Platform BK and Yuri Veerman decided to create an image that reflects this inequality, based on the enormous differences in financial appreciation. An image that symbolizes the old normal and hints at a new, uncertain normal. This image is ‘For Our Heroes’.

Hence, ‘For Our Heroes’ was launched to remind everyone – and especially the policy-makers – that wealth in The Netherlands is distributed unfairly. The value that people add to society through the work they do, often is not reflected in the earnings they receive for it. On the lower as well as the upper side of the social ladder. Maybe it’s because we have slowly grown accustomed to it. If a floor is tilted slightly, you’ll start walking lop-sidedly to make it feel straight. But it isn’t. Therefore, our demand is simple: give our heroes what they deserve! Not in the form of compliments or applause, but a salary worthy of a hero.


‘For Our Heroes’ was initiated by Platform BK. The concept was developed by Yuri Veerman. The campaign was realized with support from our partners:

●  FNV Schoonmaak and Migrant Domestic Workers
●  FNV #voor14
●  Creatieve Coalition
●  Maakhaven
●  BankGiro Lottery Fund
●  Pictoright Fund
●  X-Y Actiefonds
●  VDG de la Roy
●  Arts Collaboratory Covid-19 Solidarity Fund, distributed by Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons.

About Platform BK

Platform BK researches the role of art in society and takes action for a better art policy. We represent artists, curators, designers, critics and other cultural producers.