Greetings from the Little Red Car

Twelve years ago musician and graphic designer Sonja van Hamel came across a fanfold containing picture postcards of the Afsluitdijk barrier. Each of the cards featured a little red car under a blue sky. The magnetising effect of the car and the absurdism of the repetition unleashed a feverish urge to collect that persists to this day. Van Hamel combs flea markets and secondhand shops in search of postcards showing landscapes and cities all over Europe, all featuring a little red car.

We should not complain

During her search Sonja van Hamel and graphic designer Robert Muda found a batch of cards picturing old people’s homes. In the 1960s, 70s and 80s these new residential complexes, with their colourful awnings and generally unimaginative façades, were a symbol of progress. The cards sent by the residents are funny and moving, though their loneliness and failing health are apparent if we read between the lines. The picture postcard itself is now threatened with extinction and, as the cards show, old people’s homes are not immune to the ravages of time either.