Late in 2007, Benetton began documenting the progress of the loan recipients through the images of photographer James Mollison. Mollison’s photos spotlight a diverse group of entrepreneurs including a fisherman, a decorator, a musician, a farmer, and a boxer. In keeping with Benetton’s commitment to social advocacy, the images are featured on billboards and print ads in the company’s new “Africa Works” global communications campaign. Benetton’s hope is that these everyday people will become tangible symbols of an Africa that uses the dignity of work to fight poverty and take back responsibility for creating its own future.
Africa Works – the slogan of the campaign developed by Fabrica – will appear on billboards and in the press throughout the world, from February 2008. It features Senegalese workers who have used micro loans to start small, productive businesses. Photographer James Mollison portrays them with the tools of their trade against a neutral background. They include, amongst others, a fisherman, a decorator, a musician, a jewellery-maker, a farmer, a tailor, two textile sellers and a boxer. These everyday people become tangible symbols of an Africa that uses the dignity of work to fight poverty, promote equitable development, maximise its resources and take back responsibility for creating its future.
Youssou N’Dour, one of Africa’s best-known singers and a man committed to humanitarian projects, comments: “my personal experience led me to realize that when a loan, however small, is used to develop an idea or realise a project, it is an effective way of fighting poverty. This is why everybody must understand the value of micro-credit. Africa doesn’t want charity, it wants repayable subsidized loans.”
Alessandro Benetton, Executive Deputy Chairman of Benetton Group explains the conviction with which Benetton has backed the project: “We chose to support and promote this important project because, unlike traditional acts of solidarity, it offers tangible support to small local entrepreneurs through the effective use of micro-credit. Precisely because it is based on entrepreneurial talent, hard work, optimism and interest for the future, this project effectively promotes the new face of Africa.”
More ads from this campaign: Africa Works thanks to Staci.