A digital campaign created to raise awareness for the World Toilet Day, where we brought together the organisation Svenskt Vatten with three young artists who turned crap into art.
Some people are lucky enough to have clean water, great sewer systems and live in a relative abundance of toilets. But still, in 2015, 1/3 of the world’s population won’t have access to toilets at all.
In Sweden, we’re so well-equipped that we use toilets for numerous purposes – not just ”number one and two”. In fact, Swedes treat toilets like garbage cans. Every year, 7 000 tons of trash ends up in our treatments plants. But the plants can’t handle anything else than pee, poo and paper. So all the excess junk – chemicals, medicines, plastics, you name it – ends up in lakes, rivers and seas.
In order to shed light upon these issues and raise awareness for the upcoming World Toilet Day – a UN initiative addressing the lack of toilets in the third world – Svenskt Vatten asked us to come up with a campaign. But toilets are not regarded as anything spectacular. So, in order to make them extraordinary – we needed art.
Art has the power to direct our interest towards the things we take for granted. It can make everyday items and occasions feel special. That’s the insight behind initiating a collaboration between Svenskt Vatten and Young Art – an agency for young Swedish artists. Three artists – Angelica Barat Valdes, Saga Wendotte and Caroline Nord – were asked to portray different garbage that had ended up in the treatment plants. Then, we started an online gallery called ”Skitgalleriet” (”the Crap Gallery”) and kicked off our digital campaign.
The whole shebang ended in a live exhibition on the World Toilet Day where people could buy the artwork and thereby contribute to UN’s work for better access to toilets and clean water.
The project gained a lot of attention in the media and it also gave Svenskt Vatten a new way of addressing the importance of taking care of our toilets, sewer systems and natural resources.