Kibera, Kenya is the largest and most dangerous slum in all of Africa. Home to over one million people who fight every day for food and clean water. Yet just above their heads could be the answer to many of their problems; valuable street art created over five years ago by acclaimed French street artist and TED Prize winner, JR. But under the harsh Kenyan sun, the artwork was quickly deteriorating. So before it became worthless, WATERisLIFE wanted to save one and sell it to the highest bidder. All of the money will be used to provide better access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene for the people of Kibera who so desperately need it.
The Art Heist for Good took two years to plan and a few minutes to pull off. The team went in, took down the artwork and replaced them with proper, corrugated metals roofs that would protect the residents from the rain and sun.
The art was immediately transported back to the United States where it will go up for sale on September 30th, 2015 at Julien’s Auction House in Beverly Hills. This is the largest JR print in the United States and one that propelled him to international fame in 2008. It is estimated at $20,000-$40,000 and 100% of the proceeds will go back to provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene to the people of Kibera.
The people of Kibera have an average daily income of $1.25 per day, making their roofs incredibly valuable to them. “To put it into perspective, it would be like a family living in New York City who unknowingly has a $20 million dollar roof over their heads,” said Kristine Bender, President of WATERisLIFE. “Those who live in Kibera are not only unaware of the value of the artwork, they have no way to sell it themselves. So in a way, we’re not doing much more than providing a way for the people of Kibera to help save Kibera. It’s as simple as saving a community with artwork and providing clean water to those who so desperately need it.”
WATERisLIFE is now looking for a buyer to take part in the sale at Julien’s Auctions; either in-person or online. With 100% of the proceeds going directly back to the people of Kibera, this is a chance for people to take part in a one-of-a-kind project that will save lives.