September 14, 2014

Faking a 42-day holiday to make a point

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 1:36 pm


In 2013 graphic designer Zilla van den Born graduated from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht with a project in which she fooled family and friends into believing she was on a 42-day-long journey through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

Fakebooking is so old hat that even British comedian Miranda Hart dedicated an episode, aptly called Holiday, to a fake vacation in Thailand.

But Van den Born went beyond the selfie with the giant poster of a palm tree-lined beach in the background. Writes Kickass Trips:

She followed an elaborate scheme of activities, all of it staged. The picture of her snorkelling in Thailand was taken in a swimming pool in Amsterdam and later photoshopped to make it look more tropical. She took photos in tropical aquariums at the Artis Zoo, went to a butterfly garden, bought exotic Asian souvenirs on the market and cooked Thai meals, in her own kitchen of course.

The book Van den Born created for her project is combined with a Layar app to recover the reality behind the manipulation. With her project Van den Born wanted to highlight the difference between our rational attitude to modern day photography (we know everything we see may have been manipulated) to our actual attitude: we still see photos as “the proof of an experience”.

Check her portfolio to see videos of her manipulations and the reactions of her friends and family to finding out it was all fake.

(Photo: Zilla van den Born)

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November 20, 2011

Cancer research charity Pink Ribbon donates zero percent to cancer research

Filed under: Health by Branko Collin @ 5:33 pm

Sometimes it is best to shut up. When news show Nieuwsuur reported that spent only 1.8 % of the donations it received on cancer, the charity threw a hissy fit. The findings of the show were far from the truth, they claimed, and the makers of the programme obviously prejudiced.

This led writer and breast cancer survivor Karin Spaink to do her own research. Last Saturday she dove into the annual reports of Pink Ribbon, and discovered that the numbers Nieuwsuur had dug up were indeed incorrect — the real numbers were worse!

According to Spaink, Pink Ribbon Netherlands has spent exactly 0.0 percent of the money it received through donations on cancer research. The foundation has collected approximately 18 million euro between 2007 and 2010. In that period it has built up a reserve of 7 million euro, and spent 3 million euro on the costs of running its organisation. About 6 million euro has gone to ‘psych-social care’, and 1.5 million euro to education.

Since the Nieuwsuur report, Pink Ribbon Netherlands has been trying to twist the meaning of the phrase ‘cancer research’ to fit its expenditures. Money that Pink Ribbon received from fellow cancer charities KWF and A Sister’s Hope and that was earmarked for research, is now suddenly supposed to count towards to its own goals.

Spaink has been critical of Pink Ribbon Netherlands before. In 2006 she lambasted the foundation for not publishing its annual reports, which it has since done. Earlier this week she criticized the whole pink ribbon phenomenon as a form of consumer indulgence.

Earlier this year activists the world over criticized the practice of ‘pinkwashing‘, where companies whose products and services increase the risk of cancer pretend to be supportive of cancer victims by donating money to Pink Ribbon.

(Photo by Clyde Robinson, some rights reserved)

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