Fabriqué à Paris - Made in Paris

Barricade in Paris of 1944, used for the liberation of France.
Barricade in Paris of 1944, used for the liberation of France.


In Paris, the city where the concept of a barricade originated, Tools for Action has invented a new type of inflatable blockade in preparation for protest at the 2015 UN Climate Summit. The inflatable barricades were ´Made in Paris´ and sent to different climate activist groups around the world to be used on December 12.

Portable inflatable barricade kit sent to New York. 5.12.2015
Portable inflatable barricade kit sent to New York. 5.12.2015


Actions in the United States and London

The inflatables have been sent in packages to activist groups in New York, Portland and London marked “Fabriqué á Paris.” The inscription refers to the climate conference taking place in the city under a state of emergency. It also refers to the barricade being invented in Paris in the 16th century.

Inflatable Blockade of tracked gas pipeline in Wetschester, New York. 11.12.2015.
Inflatable Blockade of tracked gas pipeline in Westchester, New York. 11.12.2015.
Blockade of the offices of the US Forest Service in protest of logging in the Mt. Hood National Forest, Portland. 11.12.2015.
Blockade of the offices of the US Forest Service in protest of logging in the Mt. Hood National Forest, Portland. 11.12.2015.

The inflatables have already been used to blockade the offices of the US Forest Service in protest of logging in the Mt. Hood National Forest and a construction site for fracked gas in Westchester, New York. This tactic addresses the fact that climate change is a global problem that needs a site-specific direct response.

“Red Lines are not for crossing”

A red line is drawn across these infatable barricades, symbolizing the demands drawn up by the Coalition 21, a network of 130 civil-society organisations. The red line entails a drastic and immediate reduction of greenhouse emissions and a recognition of the historical responsibility of industrialized countries. It also demands the installation of a monitoring system with the authority to penalize transgressors, and sufficient financing from more economically developed countries for a global transition to clean energy, including compensation for the suffering and loss that climate change has caused.

Inside the inflatable studio where we gave skillshare workshops how to make the inflatable barricade.
Inside the inflatable studio where we gave skill-share workshops how to make the inflatable barricade.


The barricades were assembled by hundreds of helping hands, connecting French farmers opposing a destructive airport, locals from the Montreuil neighbourhood in Paris and solar panel engineers from California. The construction studio in the social center Jardin d’Alice was a meeting point for discussions, skill sharing, and imagining how this simple tool can be used.

See you in Paris! Skillshare Workshop and Training for COP21

Inflatable sculpture in front of Jardin d´Alice. Photo by Artúr van Balen

Come build inflatables with us in Paris!

Tools for Action is giving skill-share workshops and trainings how to build your own inflatable sculpture and use it as a tool for protest at the United Nation Climate Conference (COP21).

You can find our studio at the Art Build Space at Jardin d´Alice, 19 rue Garibaldi in Montreuil, 93100.
We’re here pretty much everyday making inflatables, so feel free to come by anytime.  We’re always here:
Thursdays to Sundays: 12h - 20h.

Check out our Facebook page for what we’ve been making:

If you can’t make it to Paris, you can also join the crew building inflatables in London for the solidarity demonstrations that will happen there. Email [email protected] for more info about London inflatables.

See you in Paris!

Tools for Action

Test of the inflatable Barricade from toolsforaction

Tutorial Carbon Bubble

Carbon Bubble / Inflatable Tutorial from toolsforaction

The inflatable carbon bubble is a great tool to transform a protest into a highly playful, fun and interactive event and at the same time raise awareness about the carbon bubble issue.*1 The making of the inflatable can be an inspiring group activity. It can be also used for symbolic or direct action: for example the popping of the inflatable carbon
bubble can be very powerful to tell and visualise the future market crash of the fossil fuel industry.

Please email us on [email protected] if you have questions. And please send us pictures of your inflatable action!

Let´s pop this carbon bubble!


Tools for Action

*1 The “carbon bubble” is first coined by the Carbon Tracker Initiative in their “Unburnable Carbon” Report (2011). A definition of the idea is, that “fossil fuel companies are overvalued because if and when the world ever gets serious about dealing with the climate crisis, the fossil fuel companies won’t be able to burn their carbon reserves, from which they derive their value.” Kessler, Huffington Post 29.10.2013



Team Rainbow (Croatia 2014)


This 4 day workshop happened between 29th of march and the 1th of april in Zagreb after an invitation of Željko Blace from the organisation QueerSport. QueerSport is a loose international sports and culture community, that voices critique on normativity in sport institutions, events and practices, that go beyond sexuality and gender discrimination.

During the workshop a spontaneous group of people from Zagreb created a 8 meter long and 4.5 m high inflatable rainbow. The inflatable will be used for interventions on normative sport events.  The rainbow is not only a symbol of gay or LGBT-culture (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender), but also refers to an Eastern European superstition that when you walk under a rainbow you will experience a sex-change. The myth is still present in the popular imagination today: a participant of the workshop recalled to have read this story as part of the school education when she was six years old!

Below some images and a short video about the last day of the workshop. The workshop was made possible with the kind support of the ULUPUH program on engaged creativity.

Watch this blog for inflatable interventions to come with the Pop Up Rainbow!


The preparation of a prototype by Željko and Sara.

prototypeA pathetique first prototype. A little limp, but you get the idea.

zeljko-webZeljko Blace busy in making the rainbow.


The Pink Slapping Chappal - (Mangalore 2013)

After the Delhi gangrape in December 2012, a revival of the feminist movement began in India. This 7 meter inflatable slipper supported the “Walk for Women”, a Women rights demonstration in  Mangalore, South-India. The video documents the collaboration between Artur van Balen and Tilly Ferguson // Tools for Action  and the political theatre group Tharikita Kala Kammata, Breakthrough, Shakari Snehittara Niranthara, based in Mangalore and the village Bramakutlu. The building process took place in the village Bramakutlu, 25 km east of Mangalore.

The Pink Slapping Chappal // Mangalore, India January 2013 from Artur on Vimeo.

Many thanks to Vani Periodi, Vidya Dinker, Uday Kumar, Sunila, Malika, Pavitra, Ini, Kishur, Agyi, Aydin, the groups Tharikita Kala Kammata, Breakthrough, Shakari Snehittara Niranthara and many others in Bramakutlu village and beyond.

Object: 7 x 3 x 1,5 m
Material: flex foil, double sided tape, thread, discarded car tubes, bike pump
Video: 6:10 ; edit Artúr van Balen

Preparatory Workshop in Mangalore on 7.01.2013

Mangalore Skillshare from Artur on Vimeo.