3,500 Listro followed an appeal in Addis Ababa in 2010 to exchange their old shoe shine boxes with new ones. 3119 of them wrote a "Letter to the World," in Amharic. Currently, 350 letters have been translated into German. Their writers' age varies from 10 to 28 years; male writers predominate.

Most of the letters of Listros are very short. They often focus on only one topic. The charm and power of many letters lies in this „onesidedness“ and their seemingly fragmentary form. This, however, consitutes their charm and power. Characteristic for all is the writer's full identification with his/her respective intention to communicate, genuity of expression and absence of any put-on rhetoric.

The exhibition shows a selection of original "Letters to the World," with translations.

Quotes from „Letters to the World“

Meseret Hailu
I work to be not poor later on. That's why I sit at other people's feet today. However, I have a value. There is no doubt about that.

Benyam Misganu
For the chance to send a letter to the world, I thank the LISTROS project. We Listros are people who start small and are firmly convinced we will to achieve something great. For having seen that we need your support, you deserve my renewed gratitude.

I am a Listro. There are people who say after having their shoes cleaned that my cream was not good. But my cream is good as it is. There are always people who complain for trivial reasons. You also know that. I thank you for sharing this experience. You are always welcome.

Melkam Mumare
If the world wants to learn something from me:
- We Listros go through thick and thin for a better future
- We do it not only for ourselves but also for our family and our neighbors
- It is a pity that shoe polish is so expensive
Please treat my letter well.