Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sexy Sanitation Challenge

"Two and one-half billion people, more than a third of the world’s population, lack access to sanitation facilities and infrastructure, making them vulnerable to diseases from dysentery to cholera. Forty-five hundred children die each day from exposure to waste-borne bacteria and parasites, and yet the subject of sanitation is locked in a cultural privy, unmentioned, unmentionable, rarely rising above a dirty joke.

Acumen Fund, an organization dedicated to reducing global poverty, finds value in bringing overlooked subjects to light. Recently, it launched The Search for the Obvious by asking for photos of inventions so familiar they’ve fallen into the groove of modern existence. Among the printing presses, smoke alarms, folding chairs and lip balms that flooded the site, Acumen selected the picture of a sewer. “Okay, now you’re ready for a real challenge,” its website invited: “Sanitation is sexy. Make it obvious.”"

I'm not exactly sure that the campaign succeeded in making sanitation "sexy," but really, it doesn't need to be. It's a simple, important, and overlooked issue that is addressed with artistic fluency in the works of the challenge's winners. While in my opinion, the type moves too fast at a couple points in the "Shit talks, talk back" video, it is overall well animated, informative, and uses space and type quite well.

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