Some of the UK’s leading charities, including Amnesty International, Christian Aid, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, have come together to form a coalition to launch the ‘Remember Ken Saro-Wiwa’ project, with the aim of establishing a permanent memorial in London.
The group, which also includes the Mayor of London, has appointed Thomas Matthews to design the project’s brand identity.
The initiative seeks to raise international awareness of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the human rights activist killed by the Nigerian government for campaigning against the environmental impacts of oil corporations.
It will mark the tenth anniversary of his execution on 10 November.
Social and ecological justice campaigner Platform is co-ordinating all of the activity, including the public art initiative to construct a Living Memorial, curated by David Bailey. The competition will be open to artists, architects and designers. It launches on 22 March and an exhibition of the shortlist will be held in the summer.
‘We want to challenge and expose the traditional notions of a memorial,’ says Lorne Stockman, a co-ordinator at Platform.
The project’s identity integrates the website, www.remember sarowiwa.org.uk, into its brand and is drawn up in a graffiti style. Saro-Wiwa’s poetry will be stencilled across London to promote the campaign. ‘There is an interesting juxtaposition of poetry and activism that we wanted to take to the streets,’ says Sophie Thomas, director of Thomas Matthews.