We do give a shit. Do you?
The Give a Shit project is envisaged as a multidimensional awareness raising interdisciplinary work -in- progress platform focusing on taboo issues related to toilets and human excrements worldwide and its impacts. It puts particular emphasis on urban areas of developed countries, advocating for an urgent need for technological innovation and social reorganization within the existing western system of flushing toilet design: eliminating usage of potable water + re-usage of human excrements. Give a Shit aims to present toilet innovation as an urgent, indispensable and profitable solution for a sustainable future of our planet and mankind.
The idea behind the project is based on academic background research, in-depth analyses and ethnographic studies conducted in public space of different cities (Barcelona, Lisbon). The project simultaneously engages academic knowledge with applicative practices in order to construct the dialog about this taboo issue among civil society.
Why do we Give a Shit?
Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. There is a sufficient amount of fresh water on the planet to achieve this. However, bad management, poor infrastructure, increased demand from consumers and industry, urbanization and changes to global hydrology system place our fresh water in peril conditions. Every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene. 750 million people around the world lack access to safe water and 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation; there are still 1.1 billion people defecating in the open (WHO and UNICEF 2014).
While the world is focused on “under-consumers” who are striving to meet basic physiological needs, such as potable water, food and shelter, “over-consumers” are flushing down the same precious finite resource of freshwater. The existing western flushing toilet system uses purified and potable water – between 3-7 L per every flush, which is more potable water than people lacking access to it have for their daily usage. Flush toilets are the highest consumers of water in an average household and they represent a prime opportunity for water conservation in our daily lives.
What is more, over-consumption of freshwater is combined with a waste of yet another potential resource for our self-sufficient sustainable future – human excrements. From both economical and ecological point of view, with every new flush, we are not only spending enormous amount of money while consuming scarce planetary resources, but also wasting our own precious resource for a greener future. With the help of already existing technologies, human excrements can be transformed into clean energy – biogas, biochar, biofuel and other potential resources for our sustainable future (fertilizers, construction material and bioplastic among others).
Raising the awareness of issues related to toilets and human excrements – importance of focusing on issues related to inadequate and inappropriate construction of modern toilets (using potable water) and the potential of human excrements for clean energy production.
We are questioning and stimulating public awareness by inviting people to take part in co-creation of innovations within this subject.
Breaking the taboo – dealing with cultural taboos, excrements and toilet with help of innovative approaches.
Constructing the dialogue within society, among policy-makers and on the market, while brainstorming and showcasing potential alternative solutions.
Demonstrating possible solutions in our daily life.
Designing and constructing a self-sufficient public toilet energy facility considering needs of local environment which would serve as an awareness tool.
Connecting the Give a Shit project with global awareness campaigns, demonstrating possible alternative solutions with the help of a prototype.
How do we Give a Proper Shit?
Realizing the importance of innovative approaches in dealing with cultural taboos made us join different fields of expertise and backgrounds in handing out possible solutions.
Insight, interdisciplinarity and situations which shock, stimulate, interact, interrogate, attract and educate are our leading thread throughout our work.
Give a Shit is composed of different steps simultaneously interlinking all of them through active interventions.
We plan to continuously raise awareness and engage the community through:
Education : interviews, debates, lectures, workshops
Art: public interventions, installations, interactive situations
Exchange of knowledge and networking: tools, know-how and examples of best practices
Who Gives a Shit?
The project will be developed under the Sustainable Energy Youth Network (SEYN), an initiative empowering young people to actively contribute to the energy transition movement towards a fossil-fuel-free era. A team of enthusiastic individuals with different backgrounds are included in the project realization:
Project manager and academic researcher
Ilda Alves | Christian Legnar | Pedro Carvalho Fernandes
Janja Rudolf | Catarina Ribeiro | João Cerdeira
Antonia Banović | Maja Jurišić | Martina Jurić
Nikola Šahović | Alexandros Filippidis | Anna Ioannidou
Logo by Metka Pretnar | Stickers by Flecta | Co production Lost in Lisbon
Supported by SEYN – Sustainable Energy Youth Network | ID.CoLab/IADE – Creative University
…….. and other amazing supporters who Give a Proper Shit! ………..
With solving the issue of toilets we tackle different important issues for future development of our society and our planet: water supply, fossil fuels, sanitation, famine. Therefore, we invite all individuals, groups, organizations and initiatives that are active or plan to be active in raising awareness, research and development of social and technological solutions to join us in a journey which Gives A Shit.
First public intervention and activity will happen on 19th November, the World Toilet Day, in several cities all over Europe.
CALL FOR ACTION #WeDoGiveAShit
As part of World Toilet Day on Nov. 19, 2015, we are kicking off our first awareness raising action. This day raises awareness about all people who do not have access to a toilet – despite the human right to water and sanitation. It is a day to do something about it. In addition to supporting UN-Water’s message, we are raising awareness about issues related to inefficient Western toilet system and the potential of human waste for clean energy production.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE?
– Invite your friends to follow us on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Youtube
– Share articles, opinions and other interesting stuff related to the subject
– Take a selfie on the toilet and post it on our FB group, break the taboo using the #WeDoGiveAShit
– Print the sticker and put them all over town, nearby public toilets (download material for printing here)
– Talk about this issue with your friends, families, neighbours
– Make a video interviewing people about their habits on the toilet
– Create your own toilet dance and stage a flash mob
– Host an event and publish it on the official World map