Walk a mile in the shoes of the less fortunate. That’s what Love In Revolt let its visitors do.
Contributed By Yong Yung Shin
Want to know how a Cambodian woman from an impoverished village gets her supply of fresh water daily? Rather than spout a sob story, the volunteers at *SCAPE at Orchard Road let visitors have a hands-on experience: carry around a 20kg jerry can and walk around *SCAPE.
For those who tried this, it wasn’t long before the strain spread from their wrist to their upper arm and shoulder. But that’s how many in rural Cambodia live daily, walking a distance of approximately five km to get their water. This exercise was one of the activities visitors engaged in at Love In Revolt, an interactive landscape designed by graduates from the La Salle School Of The Arts and the Raffles Design Institute to fight poverty. It was held from August 5 to 7.
The initiative focused on five specific projects, with measurable goals: to give 1,500 individuals a hand out of poverty through microfinance; to help 126 orphans build a roof over their orphanage and purchase 40 goats to help support their livelihood; to sponsor the schooling expenses of 80 children from low income families for a full year; to provide free meals for the poor in Singapore, and to build 15 water stations in Cambodia to generate clean water for 15 communities.
Visitors made a donation to get a chance to help complete the art installations. Creative infographics showed how every donated dollar would make a difference for the beneficiaries of the five projects.
“Instead of creating a conventional exhibition about poverty, we decided to create an interactive landscape where people can inhabit, explore and participate in,” explained Nehemia Sasongko, the art director of the event. “Our art would be creatively embedded and integrated within the space for people to discover and learn about poverty. Indeed, our message is that even though we live in a comfortable ‘utopia,’ if we care to pay attention, there are always less fortunate people all around that need our help. We need to open our eyes to their plight.”
Supported by ONE Singapore, A Child’s Right, Hope International, World Harvest and the Rotary Club, Love In Revolt was the brainchild of Indonesian-born Singaporean Harris Gozali, who, with the help of several friends, pooled over S$30,000 of their personal savings to transform the 27,000 sq ft *SCAPE Playspace into a “utopia” of sorts, complete with artificial grass and free milk stations.
“Unlike so many people in neighboring countries, [Singaporeans’] greatest challenge now is keeping our souls alive in an environment of comfort and affluence,” said Gozali. “As our affluence grows, we must not forget the less fortunate who exist all around us. We must use the much we have to make a difference in the lives of others.”