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Chris Anderson

Curator, TED

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How will you take part in JR's TED Prize wish?

First, if you haven't seen it yet, watch the amazing TED Prize speech given by French street artist JR. He's initiating a spectacular global art project that anyone can participate in. But how? This is up to the creative imagination of people around the world.
- Is there an amazing "invisible person" you know of, whose portrait should be shared with the world?
- Is there a tough issue you'd like to stand up for in public with your own portrait?
- Can you imagine energizing a local community around either of these?
- Can you imagine finding a spectacular local site to post giant portraits?
- Other thoughts? (You may spark something for someone else!)

Topics: TED Prize art
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  • May 3 2011: So I'm from a small town in Ireland, Birr in county Offaly. Its the kind of place you leave and if you get half the chance most don't look back beyond family duties and so the community dries up culturally due to the absence of the social gradient, all the links aren't present in the chain for the life there to be healthy. The education system in Ireland is 'points/scores' oriented, young people learn by heart the information they are given without any contextual education as to who they are as human beings, what kind of challenges we face and what their options really are and so the immediate life is often the only one they know.

    This coupled with the lack of inter-generational communication often leaves kids out of the loop socially. For those most unfortunate, failing to deal with a lack of communication and having no educative means in place they often turn inward to an increasingly small and dark space. youth suicide became a common occurence there. I have personal experience with this kind of epidemic, where suicide becomes the percieved symbol by which depressed young people communicate the hoplessness of their situation.

    My own cousin committed suicide last year hanging himself in the cattle mart just at the beginning of the 'dodgy' side of town. Three months later a fifteen year old girl did the same, that was the third youth suicide in a period of 3 months in a town of 3,500 people. People were devastated and the problem became very clear. One local woman Lisa Pardy began a facebook page to address the need for a space for young people in the town. In six months we have secured funding and premises and begin renovations in June. In Ireland there are many start-up youth caf├ęs now.

    I would like to work with Inside-Out so that young Irish people can adress the issues they face in the public space to help bring life out from behind the four walls of isolated homes so that people can get a sense of social responsibility toward the whole community.
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      May 4 2011: Start photographing and send in your pictures for prints. The fact that your town is small and that everyone is close to this issue might make it easy for people to get on board with this art initiative!
      • May 8 2011: Yes, true, I'm away at the moment and so must wait, but also there is scope for a national version. Mails have been sent, let's see.
        Oh and thanks to the team for being in touch.
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      May 24 2011: This is pure Alternative history speaking

      The irish are the oldest of the white cultures of europe still in existence,maybe that's what the young irish need? "Return to the tribe"

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