Gallery TED Prize

10 more communities turned Inside Out by TED Prize winner JR

Posted by: Shirin Samimi-Moore
This group of activists from Seoul visited New York City, hoping to raise awareness of “Comfort Women” – some 200,000 Korean women who were forced into prostitution by the Japanese Army during WWII. These women, now elderly, have yet to receive reparations.

This group of activists from Seoul, Korea, visited New York City, hoping to raise awareness of “Comfort Women” – some 200,000 Korean women who were forced into prostitution by the Japanese Army during WWII. These women, now elderly, have yet to receive reparations.

JR is an artist with a desire to transform our collective streets — from French public houses to Brazilian favelas. As he describes in his talk from TED2011, JR headed to the barrier wall between Israel and the Palestinian territories for his project “Face 2 Face,” JR: My wish: Use art to turn the world inside outJR: My wish: Use art to turn the world inside out pasting massive portraits the size of houses on either side of the wall. The goal: to catch both sides off guard with their similarities and give them the experience of relating to the other by staring them straight in the face. JR found that people are thirsty to heal in this way — to be seen and to share a story through a simple image.

After winning the 2011 TED Prize, JR transformed his mission to a global scale with Inside Out. Through the initiative, any willing participant can send a portrait (or a series of them), and receive the images back as posters, ready to be pasted anywhere with a social purpose in mind. The purposes and messages may vary, but the images hold a common thread. These public exhibits are then documented and shared on the project’s website.

In August, Inside Out surpassed the goal of dispersing 100,000 posters. But they are hardly stopping there. Below, see images of some recent projects, pasted all around the globe — from Colombia to New Zealand.

This project went on behind bars in a women’s prison in Medellin, Colombia. The idea was to photograph those incarcerated and interview them about what they plan to do upon release.

This project went on behind bars in a women’s prison in Medellin, Colombia. The idea was to photograph those incarcerated and interview them about what they plan to do upon release.

This school in Christchurch, New Zealand, was hit hard by an earthquake, and the community lacks the funds to rebuild it. To increase support, participants of Inside Out pasted posters of the children who attended the school, and their grandparents who -- generations ago -- also studied there.

This school in Christchurch, New Zealand, was hit hard by an earthquake, and the community lacks the funds to rebuild it. To increase support, participants of Inside Out pasted posters of the children who attended the school, and their grandparents who — generations ago — also studied there.

This project from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was undertaken to represent the many different occupations represented in the city, not to mention the diversity to be appreciated there.

This project from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was undertaken to represent the many different occupations represented in the city, not to mention the diversity to be appreciated there.

Cyclists in Utrecht, Germany, began this initiative to share the stories of young bike-riders.

Cyclists in Utrecht, Germany, began this initiative to share the stories of young bike-riders.

In Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico, a group of students pasted the many diverse faces of their community, to instill pride for residents and to help encourage their artistic endeavors.

In Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico, a group of students pasted the many diverse faces of their community, to instill pride for residents and to help encourage their artistic endeavors.

7 - Tokyo

Some members of Tokyo’s community wanted to give honor to the various volunteers of many fields — their efforts spanning across earthquake relief, domestic abuse counselors and food bank assistants. Their portraits were plastered across the city.

Amy Lehman runs a floating healthcare clinic along Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here, in Kigoma, she pasted these posters on the walls of the village.

Amy Lehman runs a floating healthcare clinic along Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here, in Kigoma, she pasted these posters on the walls of the village.

As a form of non-violent protest in Madrid, Spain, these posters were used to display the faces of those who are being harmed by living under corrupt government.

As a form of non-violent protest in Madrid, Spain, these posters were used to display the faces of those who are being harmed by living under corrupt government.

In an effort to stand up to bullying, this action, titled “Not in Our Schools,” took place in Palo Alto, California, in order to advocate acceptance in local high schools.

In an effort to stand up to bullying, this action, titled “Not in Our Schools,” took place in Palo Alto, California, in order to advocate acceptance in local high schools.

And a bonus video action:

In the dark of night, these posters of Taiwanese youth were pasted alongside portraits of youth from Mainland China. It’s an expression of hope toward a more united future. These posters were immediately removed by the Chinese public authorities, but not before this footage of the pasting (and subsequent removal) was captured.