Exhibit: The “Letter to Friends” in Living Colour

An art exhibit has been created by the Forum on Overcoming Extreme Poverty. Each of the thirty posters in the exhibit displays an account of a personal message that was published in the Forum’s newsletter “Letter to Friends Around the World”. The illustrations are by Hélène Perdereau, an ally who has been offering her artistic talents to the Forum for more than twenty years now. One poster, for instance, focuses on the reaction to a housing plan:

“Often, organizations, put under pressure by conditions of certain donors, execute their plan in a top-down way. This is the case for the relocation of families who were living and working at the garbage dump. […] Seventy new houses had been built […] modelled on a family with 2 or 3 children, although most of the families have up to 7 children and many have grandparents staying with them. To save money, the houses share common walls and ventilation. Noises in one house can be heard as if people were sitting in the same room. […] People started to say that they would like to go back and live at the garbage dump because it was better there. […] The lack of privacy and the cramped living space created tensions and even violence among family members and neighbours. Beforehand, they had never experienced quarrelling like this. They say that as a community they had felt like a family before. Learning from this experience, we want to conceive new houses together with the families. There has to be space between the houses and the size of the family must be taken into account for the allocation of square meters. We have asked families to contribute to the building of the new houses, so that they can have a say at all moments of the process.”

This exhibit aims to make known publicly many of the commitments and initiatives made to overcome poverty by people in many countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Colombia, the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Nepal, Peru, Portugal, Senegal, Tanzania, Tunisia, the United States, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

It can be used as a tool for getting to know new people, sparking dialogue, consciousness-raising, and inviting society to engage in social justice. This exhibition was designed with mobility in mind. The thirty posters exist in either of the following dimensions: 80 x 120cm or 29.7×42 cm. All thirty can be seen online here. If you or someone you know would like to display the exhibit, please contact us at . We hope it will travel widely!