Donation is a wonderful thing. A perfect world, every cent of the dollar and you donate will go straight to the cause you help to support but, in the real world up to 54% of the dollar is taken to go to the corporation to support funding. They can also go to advertisements and funding of the employees so they can do the best work possible. When I heard this information, I was shocked the fact that 50% of my dollar and all of that I chose to Donate wasn't necessarily going to go to the people I want to help with was hard to hear. But, don't let that discourage you from donating. The point of a project to help educate others do their research before making their donations. There are many many small corporations or organizations that have less of an overhead such as 9% or even less. These are the organizations that as the people we should support. I understand that the UNHCR is more accessible, but I want to educate people to look harder.
Our goal of this project was to create a visual representation that is interactive prove a point. The point is when you donate please research the foundations and organizations that you are donating two, have some of them are less helpful than others. Madeline and I created A game type piece of art. There are two rectangles one of which represents the bigger organization. The rectangle is bigger but has bigger traps in it so when you put your money in the top and the sides down between the different pegs, your money may get stuck and be gone forever. The money that reaches the bottom box goes to donation of the money get stuff will go to the corporation. On the other side there is a smaller box yes this box maybe smaller but there is only one trap that the coin have to avoid the trap taking about 9% to coins. The smaller box is a more reliable route. Please designs will be installed onto the streets of Cambridge for others to use educate themselves. Again, we want to make it clear that we are not discouraging those to donate yet we are encouraging those to do their research before they do.
Donating it a great and important thing. You get to help people in need around the world. But do you know where your money is actually going? In the studio, Transferring Narratives, we Skyped with many different people who are experiencing the refugee crisis first hand. We talked with people who ran refugee camps, helped refugees seek asylum, and refugees themselves. My partner Annabelle and I wanted to focus on the aspect of donating blindly. After doing some research and talking with the head of a foundation, we learned that there is a lot of waste when it comes to donations. Big corporations like the UNHCR wastes a lot of money when it comes to their volunteers and overhead costs. There are many little organizations that do the same great work as big corporations like the UNHCR but you are guaranteed that most of your money is going to the refugees, not into wasteful things or worse, some ones pocket. We learned that 54% of the money that you donate to big corporations goes to overhead costs and wasteful spending, whereas only 9% of the money you donate to smaller organizations goes to overhead costs. To visually represent this research, Annabelle and I created two rectangle shaped peg boards made out of acrylic and wood. The two rectangles are different sizes; the small representing little organizations and the big representing big foundations. The only thing connecting these two boxes is a large bin at the bottom which will represent the money going to charity. In the bigger rectangle, we put boxes and other obstacles to make it that only half of your money makes it into the charity bin. In the smaller rectangle there is only one obstacle stopping the money from getting into the bin. This shows that you never really know where you money is going to the corporation or to aid. Annabelle and I are not trying to discourage people from donating, we want people to do research and really know where their money goes when they donate.
Mirrors, a piece of art to reflect just how many refugees you don't see.
Millions of Syrian refugees are scattered all across the globe. While the United States has admitted just over 10,000 of them, Germany has taken in over 400,000 thousand, and over 4.8 million refugees have fled to countries including Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. The recent ban on Syrian refugees to the US has only made the sitaution worse. American leaders must understand that even though the US has taken in refugees in, they really have not done enough. There is too much needless suffering, and people must immerse themselves in this topic to truly understand what needs to to be done.
Our project is an installation that will raise awareness about how many refugees the US has taken in, compared to how many that still need somewhere to go. Our project is built to be mostly submerged underground. We hope to place it in a public area, like a tree box, or flower pot. The top of our project just surfaces, and inside you can see a few refugees. This is there to represent how many refugees we have in the US. It will intrigue viewers to take a look closer. After all, why would there be something like this in a tree box? Once they take a step closer, and look into the installation, they will see an infinite amount of refugee figures. This will strike the viewer to think about just how the US is not doing nearly what they could do. We are able to get there to be an infinite amount of refugees below the surface by using a mirror system. The mirrors reflect the image of the refugee an infinite amount of times so it can really shake the viewer. We originally based this off of the idea of an iceberg. Although they already look huge above the water, that's only about 10% of what it really is. The other 90% lies below the water. We hope that this installation can affect the viewer to really take time to think about the refugee situation in America. There is so much more that can be done, and we hope that this mindset can find it's way into everyone!