Out in the Open: A Playful Art Installation for World Toilet Day
"Comfurt" by Ana Teresa Fernandez. Donations go to the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center
Seeking to raise awareness about the plight of 2.5 billion people without access to clean, private toilets, my mobile shower and toilet service for the homeless, San Francisco-based nonprofit Lava Mae, is mounting a public art installation entitled C’mon Give a Sh_t!.
I only recently learned about World Toilet Day and was inspired to invite artists Ana Fernandez, Sarah Ratchye, and Travis Somerville; and designers Maloos Anvarian, Jeff Shipley, and Monica Viarengo to respond to the campaign. Partnering with homeless organizations Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, Project Homeless Connect, San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of HOPE’s Homeless Fund, and youth organization At the Crossroads, we will open up bidding online for the decorated toilets on November 19, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sanitation is a basic human right. World Toilet Day was created to raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper, dignified sanitation. This is an issue we don’t expect to find in the U.S., but the reality is that it’s a huge problem for many people experiencing homelessness in our country. C’mon Give a Sh_t! seeks to capture the attention of local San Franciscans, especially the thriving tech community ensconced in mid-Market where the installation will reside.
"Your Waste in Here" by Sarah Ratcheye. Donations go to Project Homeless Connect Toilet.
Saskia Castelein, Advocacy and Communication Officer at Water Supply and Sanitation Council and cofounder of World Toilet Day, asks, “Can you imagine not having a toilet? Can you imagine not having privacy when you need to relieve yourself? This is a harsh reality for many; in fact, one in three people on this planet lack access to a toilet.”