Alfredo Jaar

The Gift, 2016

Public intervention, ongoing
Basel 2016

On April 6, 1994, a plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi was shot down above Kigali, Rwanda. Their deaths sparked widespread massacres that lasted 100 days. In face of the unconscionable indifference of the international community, 1 million people were killed, 4 million were displaced. Alfredo Jaar visited Rwanda in August 1994 and dedicated six years of work to the subject. The Gift originated in response to the genocide to collect funds for Doctors Without Borders. In this public intervention, volunteers offered red cardboard boxes as gifts. Following instructions, recipients opened their box and folded it inside out, turning it into a donation-box. The boxes were used to raise more than USD 200,000 for the genocide survivors. Today, the artist has recreated the project to assist the victims of the migrant crisis in Europe. All proceeds will go directly to the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), a charity dedicated to saving lives at sea by providing professional search and rescue to people in distress.

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