Inspired by a movement from the Global South, we make a fake website... and find ourselves laughing (at times a bit awkwardly) for decades.
Coming soon: the full story behind the story of the Yes Men's first project, including how we came to make a fake WTO website in the first place (hint: it was not our idea) and how it came to be mistaken far and wide for the real McCoy (that wasn't our intention either, though we were delighted when it happened).
We'll also talk about some of the twists of the Salzburg experience itself—e.g. how weird jokes can get press around serious matters. Besides the New York Times reprinting our full email exchange, a Vienna newspaper reprinted the fictitious "pieing" that led to Bichlbauer's "demise." Even Fortune got in on the act. With each bit of press about our shenanigans, the problems with corporate capitalism (as embodied at that time in the WTO) had to be highlighted, because they were an integral part of our jokes.
Other things we learned: conference attendees are really polite, and are very unlikely to attack even someone they think is appalling. Duh.
We also learned that it's really hard to make a video in which nothing dramatic happens—which is why for our next event, we called up a proper filmmaker.
We learned that even a full-page article in the New York Times doesn't ruin one's chances to fool someone else—a lesson we've relearned a number of times in different forms, like in 2012.
Watch this space!