A chance to dump
It's no fun getting
dumped on. Actors Minnie Driver and Colin Firth learned that the hard
way after agreeing to have their photos taken while loads of cotton and
coffee were poured over their respective heads as part of Oxfam's
current Make Trade Fair campaign.
The cotton was dusty and itchy, and the coffee? Well, it burns when it
gets in your eyes. But that's nothing, says Oxfam, compared to what
happens when rich nations dump cheap commodities on the unprotected
markets of developing countries, putting indigenous farmers out of
business. Itchy burning eyes are nothing compared with hunger and
Driver and Firth are just two of more than a dozen celebrities (a group
that includes Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, REM's Michael Stipe
and Radiohead's Thom Yorke) getting publicly dumped on in order to draw
attention to what Oxfam says is one of the major causes of world
hunger: a trade system that favours a few rich countries and big
corporations at the expense of the more than a billion people
struggling to live on $1 (U.S.) a day, most of them farmers.
Oxfam plans to use the images on billboards, bus shelters and in
magazines around the world to pressure politicians into changing the
rules regarding the dumping of not just cotton and coffee, but rice,
sugar, chocolate, wheat, feathers and even orange juice. As London-
and Los Angeles-based photographer Greg Williams, who took the
pictures, said: "It's about something very familiar being used to hurt
More information at the Fair
Trade website, including a screensaver download,
petition to sign and more photos of the celebrities in the
Movie stars and rock stars have
joined Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign. The campaign highlights the
plight of billions of people being made hungry and poor because of the
crisis in world agricultural trade - especially the dumping of cheap
commodities by rich countries.
Celebrities Alanis Morissette, Michael Stipe, Chris Martin, Colin
Firth, Thom Yorke, Antonio Banderas, Minnie Driver, Jamelia, Youssou
N'Dour and other world-class entertainers have donated to Oxfam's
campaign a sequence of striking images of themselves being drenched by
milk and showered with coffee, cocoa, feathers, wheat, sugar, rice and
Phil Bloomer, head of Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign, said: "We're
thrilled that such A-list international stars feel passionate about
this vital issue and were eager to do so much to help the campaign
|The pictures are by Greg Williams,
a leading London and LA-based photographer and creative director, who
first worked with Oxfam 12 years ago in drought-ravaged South Africa.
Williams has supported Oxfam since.
"I wanted to
give a quirky and
imaginative twist to a serious campaign by highlighting the almost
violent misuse of something as mundane as cotton or sugar," Williams
says. "The immediate impact of the photographs is an unsettling one -
it is about something very familiar being used to hurt or humiliate."
Firth arrived direct from a press conference for his new Bridget Jones
movie and then had coffee poured over him, "and we found out quickly
that coffee liquid is incredibly burning when it gets in your eyes,"