Analysis of the Women are Heroes Project
Project Women are Heroes was initiated by French street artist known as JR. The project was implemented in cooperation with the international organization Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). The artist took pictures of women, who live in conflict zones in Kenya, Brazil and Cambodia (Kennedy, 2010). These women were victims of violence or armed conflicts. Many of them lost their children. And they wanted to share their stories. One of the project organizers said that after hearing such stories a person might think that a woman is dead inside. But then the photographer asked her to do a goofy or dignified face and the life and light was seen on that face. Then such pictures were outsized and posted in the cities around the world including big European cities and capitals as well as small cities in Africa. By this project author wanted to demonstrate that there are women, who continue to struggle and they would never stop until the war is finished or the conflict is solved or their life is improved. These photos are aimed to encourage other women not to be afraid to fight against injustice.
The issue of sustainability is often to be considered as improvement of the global ecological situation but it also includes social and economic parts. Social part of the sustainable development envisages upturn of the conditions in which poor people of the planet are living, hiring locals for developing businesses and regulating conflicts and wars with the aim to lessen the number of victims. This particular project turns people’s attention to several major social problems of African and South American women: gender discrimination, living under dangerous conditions and poorness. One of the main ideas of the project is to show that “in peacetime women are discriminated. In wartime they are targets”. These women need social and governmental protection.
The project Design with the Other 90% is an exhibition ran by the United Nations Organization in cooperation with the UN’s Academic Impact global initiative. The exhibition includes photos and ideas on improving the design and living conditions of the poor cities of the planet. The historical situation is that designers focus only on 10% of the world’s population. But it was changed with the beginning of the 21st century. Nowadays most of the Earth’s population lives in the cities. And this requires new strategies for urban development because many people inhabit the district called slums where the level of living conditions is very low. The exhibition is aimed to encourage engineers, designers, non-governmental organizations, planners and architects to develop new ideas in order to improve people’s lives (Smith, 2011).
This project is very relevant to issues of the social sustainable development. One of Millennium Goals is to eradicate poorness and improve living conditions in underdeveloped countries of the world. And this exhibition turns people’s attention to such corners of the planet where such problems exist. Making people aware of such problems is a step in order to solve them. Everybody who has knowledge in that particular field can contribute with his or her ideas and in cooperation with organizations and institutions solve or at least try to solve the problem of poor living conditions and improvement of people’s life in slums of Africa and Asia.
Kennedy, R. 2010. Award to Artist Who Gives Slums a Human Face. New York Times, [online] 19 October. Available at:
Smith, C. E. 2011. Design with the Other 90%: CITIES. [online] June 20. Available at: