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Japan Association for Refugees | The Missing Fingerprint
Project Info +
Japan’s approval of refugee status is extremely low at 0.2% (Western countries average 30% to 50%). Most refugees who escape from their country to Japan are not given official status in society for many years. This blocks their access to jobs and medical care, causing undue hardship. Japanese sensibilities that prefer order and exclude outliers are said to be behind this extremely low level of approval.
We focused on the fact that refugees are not granted official status, which means that they have no real usable ID. We used fingerprints, which are unique IDs for people, as motifs for posters to increase awareness of refugees’ plight.
These posters featured refugees’ fingerprints being “erased” by Japanese patterns symbolizing the Japanese love of uniformity. Several versions of these posters were made and displayed in a gallery in Tokyo for the World Refugee Day.
Visitors could also view interviews with the fingerprint’s owner by pointing a mobile device at the poster. This also tied into a donation page, enabling an immediate way to help support refugees.
We greatly improved awareness of refugees in Japan with many people gaining understanding and sympathy for their hardships.
・450% increased awareness of refugees
・7260 tweets about refugees
・830% increase in donations from the past year