Water Is Life Steals Art From a Violent Slum in a 'Heist' for a Good Cause

Campaign by Deutsch NY Auctions Street Art by JR From Kibera, Kenya

Published On
Nov 04, 2015

Editor's Pick

Nonprofit Water Is Life is known for its provocative campaigns (previous efforts have included Hashtag Killer and Last Family Portrait) to draw attention to the need for clean water in the Third World,

Its latest is a daring "heist," as it's titled by agency Deutsch N.Y., to steal street art from Kibera, Kenya -- described as the largest and most violent slum in Africa. The art, adorning slum house roofs, was created over five years ago by TED Prize winner JR, and is worth millions of dollars, but was beginning to deteriorate.

WaterIsLife sent a team in to remove the roof, then take it back to the U.S. and sell it at auction, with the proceeds from the art heist going towards installing a 5,000 gallon per day day water filter and building a permanent community hand washing station. The first piece from "The Art Heist for Good" was sold in September at Julien's Auction House in Beverly Hills, while the second will go up for sale in Paris next month. It's a truly original idea, and this fast-paced video by Deutsch detailing the project gives it the exciting feel of a real "heist."

Deutsch N.Y. Executive Creative Director Menno Kluin worked with Water Is Life on several award-winning projects while he was at DDB N.Y., and the account followed him to Deutsch earlier this year.


Nov 04, 2015
Deutsch-New York

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