Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]
2015 is a site recently launched in the Middle East, which invites users to submit their own creations – whether photographs, videos or pieces of writing – to a public gallery. There is, however, a socially conscious twist to the kind of content being shared.
The best place to start when talking about 2015 is to look to at what the organization has to say about itself, which also gives insight into the choice of name:
2015 is a social movement using art and creativity to raise awareness, change perceptions and take actions towards alleviating poverty in the Arab region.
The movement comes as a reaction to the promise made in the year 2000 at the United Nations Millennium Summit by nearly 200 world leaders who pledged to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2015.
In 2012, three billion people still live in poverty. In the Arab region millions of our people remain hungry, poor, and vulnerable, with too little access to opportunities.
World leaders are failing.
2015 aims to bring those images of poverty, of hunger, and of vulnerability, to the forefront. All of the images that have been uploaded to the site can be viewed in the online gallery on the website, while a Facebook album also highlights some of the most striking images that have been shared to date.
They’ve also created a great stop motion video, consisting of 100 metres of tape and 3 days worth of work to convey their message about what 2015 is all about:
So the question remains, can art really be used to alleviate poverty?
Without these images, it’s all the easier to forget, turn a blind eye, and simply do nothing at all. That said, it will take more than an online gallery of images to galvanize people to do more.
2015’s slogan – “Art changes perceptions, perceptions change people, people change the world” – shows the direction that the site is going in, but it still remains to be seen how that will actually be done.
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