Alternative Valentine’s cards 2009

15 Feb Alternative Valentine’s cards 2009

Sarah Corbett writes: One hundred cards were left around Central London on Valentine’s Day 2009. Each contained an alternative Valentine’s letter, a handmade gift and a sweet. Hand delivered to gaps in walls, cash machine slots, shop shelves etc, you don’t have to be in a relationship to have one of these!

I did this project in Liverpool 2008. These are valentine’s cards with a difference: the letter is written from a person from a developing country asking for people to show some ‘real love’ for the unforgotten poorest people in the world. The card includes either a keyring or a badge in the shape of a Loveheart sweet saying ‘Real Love’ and an actual sweet.

There are so many distractions in London, particularly on Valentines Day. Hopefully these cards are a friendly reminder of the difficult circumstances our global neighbours are in and the gifts are there to encourage a conversation to start even after Valentine’s Day.

Where shall I do it next year? -I’m thinking Glasgow. I dont know if I have the energy to do more than 100 next time but maybe I get my ‘Craftivist Collective’ group to help me. We could make millions and post them to people across the world to give out…ooo the possibilities….

Check out the latest press coverage: Phamous69, Ctrl Alt Shift
This is the letter:

Be My Valentine,

I don’t think you care. Not really.

It’s too easy to ignore me and people like me, isn’t it? There is too much going on: places to go, people to see, things to experience.

My name is Adriana, I am 18 years old and I live in Angola. When I was 12 soldiers attacked my village during the civil war. My family and I fled into the forest. We were separated and I haven’t seen them since. It’s hard living as an orphan. The civil war has ended now but the spread of HIV and the effects of climate change are the next battle that Angola and I have to face.

I don’t go away when you look the other way and I’ll still be here fighting though you might be distracted by many things here in London … I am part of your life, part of your world.

I don’t want your pity. Actions speak louder a box of unfairly-traded chocolates, a love poem or a bunch of roses.

Please show me your love. Take action:

Keep this gift and every time someone asks you about it, promise me you will retell my story and remember the poorest people in the world.

Is my love going to be unrequited? Please don’t ignore me and people like me. We’ll still be here waiting, angrier, ever more determined, and ever more hopeful that you’ll show ‘Real Love’ for your global neighbour through action.

What next? Internet search ‘take action on global poverty’.

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