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Famine and drought are laying waste to Eastern African countries like Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, and no one's at greater risk than children. In a report published last month, UNICEF warned that although international response to the "child survival crisis" has saved many lives, "much more needs to be done to save hundreds of thousands of children at risk of dying from malnutrition and disease." More than 320,000 kids, mostly in Somalia, are at risk of starving in the short-term future, unless relief operations are sped up. In total, 13.3 million people across the region need assistance.
A team of creative people is answering UNICEF's call for assistance by putting their talents to use. 50/50 is a project by social innovation labs Good for Nothing and Made by Many that's calling on artists and media makers to submit one fundraising project a day for 50 days, with the end goal of raising £1million ($1.57 million) toward UNICEF relief efforts. So far, 43 projects have been submitted—including everything from a platform that nudges celebrities to speak about the famine with prewritten tweets to a series of elegant posters called Posterity by visual effects agency The Mill.
The $50 limited-edition posters range from acerbic critique to abstract imagery. "We have a lot of artists with very distinct personal styles," says art director Emmett Dzieza. "We wanted to do something that was related to East Africa and famine, but wasn't banging you over the head." The poster "What the People Say," by Colin Hess, juxtaposes self-afflicted starvation by celebrities with the helplessness of famine victims by arranging quotes from famous people in word bubbles around the page. ("Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," says Kate Moss). Another piece, by Chris McKensie, used data on Africa's rivers and streams to create an algorithm-generated map of Africa. Sheena Matheiken, Posterity's interactive creative director, says the project is perfectly timed for the holidays—she hopes people can "forego buying unnecessary crap by buying meaningful artwork for [their] walls."
So far, Posterity has released about half of the posters; the rest will debut after Thanksgiving. Click through the slideshow to see a selection of posters.
Images courtesy of Posterity. Above, "The Desert" by Emmet Dzieza
"Not a Drop to Drink," by Chris McKenzie
McKenzie highlighted the afflicted region's streams with red.
"People Say," by Colin Hess
Hess' poster up close
"Pictology," by Jeff Baghai
"Metaphor" by Jeff Baghai
A close-up of "Metaphor"