Since 2015, Saudi-backed forces have been at war with Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the country’s citizens have been caught in the crossfire. Making the situation significantly worse is the fact that Saudi forces have been armed with billions of dollars worth of weaponry by Western governments.
Over half the population is without access to healthcare and clean water, and in this desperate situation, the arrival of COVID-19 was nothing short of a disaster. So when I was first approached by my friend Anna to design a poster for the Faxed exhibition she was organising to raise money for the people of Yemen, I couldn’t help but feel like a bit of slick graphic design wasn’t going to have much of an impact in the face of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
I realised though that if it weren’t for Faxed, I myself would be blissfully unaware of the war in Yemen and the disastrous consequences it’s had for those living there. As a designer I’m in a unique position to draw attention to the issue and so that’s what I resolved to do. While I wish the circumstances in Yemen that inspired this work had never come to pass in the first place, I’m thankful to Anna for doing the mahi and asking me to participate.
I compiled lists of figures and equipment from the arms sales in order to illustrate the sheer scale of Western contributions.
I once again called on my long-suffering friend Will Cook to help with 3D modelling and rendering. I basically sketched my idea and said, “figure it out”. Classic art director.
The finished posters were exhibited around the city and at the fundraising exhibition night, shown alongside a series of Yemeni short film screenings.
Event photography by Anna Hughes.