JR’s mercy mission to Somalia

The artist and activist joins social media-stars Jérôme Jarre and Juanpa Zurita on their aid trip to East Africa
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JR paste-up eye photos (taken by Yasin Osman) on the side of a a relief truck in Somalia. Image courtesy of JR's Instagram
JR paste-up eye photos (taken by Yasin Osman) on the side of a a relief truck in Somalia. Image courtesy of JR's Instagram

JR’s black-and-white paste-up artworks have been seen by and touched the lives of thousands of people across the globe. But on the French artist’s latest trip, he appears to have come across a completely new audience. The artist and social activist is currently in Somalia, with social media stars and charity fund-raisers Jérôme Jarre and Juanpa Zurita, helping Jarre and Zurita distribute the food and water they have shipped to the region via their Love Army Somalia initiative.

 

JR's photograph taken in a small village in Somalia. Image courtesy of JR's Instagram
JR's photograph taken in a small village in Somalia. Image courtesy of JR's Instagram

With the help of Hollywood star Ben Stiller, the DJ Calvin Harris and the quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Jarre and Zurita have raised over $2m to help those suffering from the effects of the ongoing drought and famine in East Africa.

The pair also managed to convince Turkish Airlines to ship their aid supplies free of charge, and a few weeks ago, the pair headed over to the Horn of Africa to witness the fruits of their work.

 

A post shared by JR (@jr) on

 

JR joined them, having flown into Ethiopia. “We distributed food to hundreds of families and tons of water to every village that we passed by,” explains JR “We covered all the water trucks with (photos of ) the eyes of people from the communities that a Somali photographer, Yasin Osman, took few weeks earlier.”

 

Jérôme Jarre and Juanpa Zurita. Image courtesy of Jarre's Instagram. Photo by Carlos E. Lang
Jérôme Jarre and Juanpa Zurita. Image courtesy of Jarre's Instagram. Photo by Carlos E. Lang

Another affirmative answer to the question JR raises in the title of his book, Can Art Change The World? To find out more about his work, order a copy here.


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