Bringing Papergirl to Brooklyn in 2020

Let me introduce myself. I'm Sina Basila Hickey.

I am a Brooklyn-based, community-engaged project artist with a background in documentary storytelling, pedagogy, and grassroots organizing.

In 2008, I discovered a video on Wooster Collective that changed my life. This video was about Papergirl-Berlin, a street art project where artwork is rolled up and distributed at random and for free to people on the street by a group of bicyclists.

I was living in Albany, NY at the time, and I wanted to be a part of an exciting art project. I wanted to create art that was not in a gallery, that challenged the normal presentation of art, and that rejected commercialism; Papergirl was perfect!

Like many other people around the world, after discovering this video I wrote to the project's founder, Aisha Ronniger, to ask permission to replecate the project in my city of residence.

In 2009, I organized PaperGirl-Albany which exhibited as part of FLUX at the St. Joseph's Cathedral. This project may have started small, but it created a community. A group of 8 artists joined together to distribute the art to the streets of Albany. VIDEO

In 2010, I moved to Berlin (for the second time) where I joined Aisha Ronniger and her team in organizing the 5th and final Papergirl-Berlin. Other international Papergirl organizers-- Manchester, Bucharest, Cape Town--were invited to attend the Papergirl #5 exhibition and take part in the distribution (July).

Despite living in Berlin, I was simultaneously organizing PaperGirl-NY which took place in August and September in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Albany.

120 artists from 12 countries contributed artwork to PaperGirl-NY.

In August, Erik Savage (Radikal!), Josh Boyark, James Rose, and myself painted a mural in Bushwick. PaperGirl-NY exhibited from August 23-27 at the Dumbo Art Center in Brooklyn, from August 28-29 at the Park Ave Armory in Manhattan, and from September 3-6 at the Marketplace Gallery in Albany.

The artwork was assembled into 331 rolls, 9 bicyclists distribute the rolls in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens over 6 hours. The distribution was documented by Brooklyn Street Art and the New York Times.

Since 2010, I co-founded an arts-based teaching business, co-organized a community garden and event space, co-founded a photography collective, and developed public programming and workshops. I'm excited to organizing Papergirl-Brooklyn in 2020 to utilize my gained experience to develop this project to a greater potential. I think that this project will be an exceptional experience for Brooklyn.