Jun 26, 2009

put yourself in my placeless place

another one straight from Osocio
not quite as creepy as the last, but still, a bit bizarre
do you think this works to make the invisible visible?
is it effective at humanizing?
is this really how empathy works?
would this inspire YOU to solidarity?

Weingart Homeless Center: Before you turn away put yourself in my place

imageTo raise awareness for the Weingart Homeless Center, agency David & Goliath from Los Angeles took a non traditional approach that made people imagine themselves homeless if only for a moment. They photographed a dozen of the 70.000 people living on the streets of Los Angeles. They gave each of them a blank cardboard sign and had them write the same message: Before you turn away, put yourself in my place. Followed by the URL, weingart.org. Then they took those images, blew them up life-size, removed their faces and made them into photo-realistic cardboard cutouts. They placed the cutouts in upscale shopping centers in Bevery Hills and Santa Monica. Soon the homeless could not be ignored. This project not only raised awareness, but it ultimately raised funds according to David & Goliath.

Weingart Homeless Center: Before you turn away put yourself in my place

Jun 21, 2009

ways of getting folks to see the unseen

a very different kind of postering.
do these make the kids seem more human or less?
I find it kind of creepy - but am heartened that people do break them out.

straight from the osocio blog:

Neglected Children are made to feel invisible

Provoking street campaign which can be seen right now in Melbourne for the Australian Childhood Foundation. For their ongoing campaign Stop Child Abuse Now agency JWT used child size mannequins to represent children suffering neglect. The mannequins were placed in high traffic locations around the city and then a billposter was pasted over the top of the figure so only the feet and legs could be seen. Words on the poster read, “Neglected Children are made to feel invisible.”

When the mannequin is removed the text “Thank you for seeing me” become visible.

Neglected Children are made to feel invisible

Neglected Children are made to feel invisible

Neglected Children are made to feel invisible

Jun 12, 2009

memory on the streets

straight from the blog mi mundo, cool pics of a great action by one of the all around best groups to learn from (ojo que HIJ@S is not just in Guate but lots of different countries).
Now THAT is some wheatpasting!

HIJOS: Public Poster Campaigns

Guatemala City, Guatemala.
May 6, 2009.

Next June, ten years will have passed since the HIJOS Collective exploded onto Guatemalan society (HIJOS means “children” in Spanish and it is an acronym for: Sons and Daughters for Identity and Justice, against Forgetfulness and Silence). Through public art, conscience-seeking events and political demonstrations, HIJOS has been seeking truth, justice and the continuance of historical memory with relation to the crimes against humanity committed by the Guatemalan State during its 36-year civil war.

Among its many activities, HIJOS periodically carries out poster campaigns in open spaces, particularly in Guatemala City.

The photographs and texts from HIJOS’ postings rarely fail to capture the attention of passerbyers.

Wendy Mendez (right), one of HIJOS’ founding members, shares with us the reasons behind such activities as well as HIJOS’ mission and overall motivation:

Today, March 8th, celebrated worldwide as International Women’s Day, also marks 25 years since my mother, Luz Haydee Mendez, was abducted, tortured, and disappeared by the G2 military intelligence agency. This was Guatemala City in 1984. I can’t help but feel a wide range of emotions. Some are anger and uncertainty, but above all hope prevails as I continue my path in search of justice for her and all the women disappeared and massacred.

Justice is a word that we have come to know due to its absence in our lives. It is not fair that my mother, along with many other mothers, was forcibly abducted and disappeared. It is not fair that in our families, as in many other Guatemalan households, a massive void remains where instead there should be a person who can be infinitely trusted in.

It is not fair that those who carried out such crimes remain free. It is not fair that those who ordered the atrocities now occupy political decision-making and influential power posts in our government and society.

It is not fair that my three-year old son has to grow up without a grandmother. It is not fair that my old lady never knew what it was like to be a grandma. It is not fair that 25 years have gone by since that tragic day and I still feel deep sorrow, fear, anguish, frustration, and many other emotions that I do not know what to call.

Today we live within a socio-political context where our authorities use the faces, names and memory of our fallen in order to cover up the forced evictions and repression carried out against peasant farmers who protect our natural resources. A context where our authorities don’t turn in the military campaign archives that support the genocide cases as they have been ordered to do. A context where our authorities mock war survivors and their communities, as they do not recognize the authenticity of repressive documents such as the Military Diary. The light at the end of the justice tunnel is a hard one to see.

Several have been the activities that our collective has spearheaded while seeking dignity for the memory of our men, women, and children who were victims of state terrorism. We have carried out demonstrations in front of judicial courts and homes of those responsible for genocide, marched through streets and avenues, denounced and displayed our historic memory on public murals, rescued testimonies about the lives and struggles of former guerrillas.

Yet, something we have not been able to feel in flesh has been a longed-for JUSTICE.

The 25th anniversary of the forced disappearance of Luz Haydee Mendez calls for a reflection on justice and how to achieve it. This is the basis for our commemorative public poster campaign.

Guatemala of the New Resistance, March 8, 2009.

“No more Military Impunity”

“Memory, Truth and Justice”

Jun 6, 2009

virtual guantanamo

and then there's the most full on simulation out there: Second Life - and sure enough, it has the most intense of scenarios on it - a virtual Guantamo, designed by USC Institute for Media Literacy and the Seton Hall School of Law. if you don't want to get sucked in to actually setting up your own avatar and joining Second Life you can get a sense of how the virtual guantanamo looks by watching these videos.

what do you think? does this build empathy? or is it pornography of violence? fine line. one that a gaming company nearly crossed when it was going to make a Gitmo video game simulation for profit. in the end they dropped it, not because of that concern, but because they thought it might be used as "al Qaeda propaganda".

but what we want to do is take down Guantamo, not recreate it. Amnesty International has done something along this line with tearitdown.org - but while compelling, it certainly does not get the gut in the same way.

for a sense of other ways activism is being done on Second Life check this out

but reminding folks of what it's like and what's at stake by putting actual bodies in orange jumpsuits in front of the white house still seems more effective to me

I have mixed feelings about the touring cell - which you may have seen Jon Stewart redecorate. again, it seems 'too easy' somehow. I want it to be more obvious that the experience isn't that easy to recreate, that there's more to it. I want it to be obvious that there are silences, stutters. Still, the cell on tour I'm sure did raise a lot of awareness.

Jun 2, 2009

more ways of getting people to see things

from the blog Another Limited Rebellion
this simulation (?!) just seems a bit silly to me
what, we're building solidarity with miniature refugees?

Mini-Refugee Camps Sprouting Up in Germany

posted by Another Limited Rebellion at 12:14 PM

German artist Hermann Josef Hack, founder of the Global Brainstorming Project, has started setting up miniature refugee camps in public spaces to bring attention to the people already suffering from the effects of climate change. 500 tiny tents have already been on display in Berlin (shown) and are moving on to Leipzig and Dresden later this month.