June 6th 2019
Givealittle shares the heart-felt words sent to victims of Christchurch attacks
Thousands of the messages written on Victim Support’s Givealittle page will be shared tomorrow to give solidarity the final word.
In Our Words, is a visual display of a selection of over 36,000 comments from the Givealittle page to form a symbol of unity.
The project aims to capture the solidarity expressed to New Zealand’s Muslim community in the immediate aftermath of the events on March 15. Victim Support’s Givealittle page closed on May 30 th and is the largest page in Givealittle’s 10-year history. The page raised over $10.7m, generating 97k donations from 139 countries.
The donations feature a range of fundraising efforts, including School mufti-days, bake sales, art auctions and music shows, yoga classes, marathons, pocket money from children, as well as business contributions.
Mel Steel, Head of Customer for Givealittle says “After the attacks Givealittle became a place for New Zealand and the world to share their outrage and grief at what happened and express support for those affected. In many ways the Victim Support page became a symbol of public unity”. “There was a lot of coverage about the amount raised. Whilst the monetary donations are just incredible and much appreciated by the Muslim community, we wanted to make sure the messages written in the donation comments were not lost. It doesn’t matter if you donated $5 or $5,000, these heartfelt messages are an important display of unity” says Steel.
The In Our Words artwork displays the comments in a spiral to express the on-going support, peace and unity from New Zealanders following the attack, and into the future.
The local artist behind the image, Chris Hutchinson, says, “I wanted to give the comments a never-ending shape to articulate our collective commitment to on-going unity.” “In a sense, I think we can all feel spoken for by these words. I hoped to give each comment a timeless quality, by creating a piece people can return back to.” Hucthinson says.
The project also features bespoke calligraphy by local calligrapher, Arfa Yasin. “What better way to thank the world for their support than by reflecting their own words in a beautiful artwork and making it accessible to all.” Steel says.
The artwork and comments feature on a specially created website. A book of comments will also be given to Victim Support and support workers as a gift to those affected.
Kevin Tso, Chief Executive at Victim Support, says “It’s hard to find words that express the pain and grief after these horrific events. These words show kindness in the face of tragedy, and people coming together in unity through giving. “We’re proud to endorse a project that recognises the united and unbreakable spirit of all New Zealanders, as well as people from around the world.” Says Tso .
In Our Words has been enabled by Spark Foundation and Advertising agency, Colenso BBDO. It uses no funds given to the Victim Support donation page. All comments have been used with permission from the author, and the project has been endorsed by Victim Support and representatives of the Muslim community.
Victim Support’s Givealittle page has now closed. People still wishing to support victims of the attacks can donate to the Christchurch Foundation’s Our City, Our People fund at www.christchurchfoundation.org.nz.