War on Drugs
The War on Drugs has failed miserably. Most governments are focusing on the prohibition of production, sale and consumption of a growing list of psychoactive substances. They have criminalized the whole chain of the drug market, but have ignored the fact that forcing people to consume drugs in hiding leads to unsafe use that has a direct impact on the spread of transmissible diseases.
The need of the hour is honest discussions, to remove the stigma that this topic has. An outlet where people can honestly write about how they feel about the war on drugs, without worrying about the social repercussions of voicing their opinions. With this intention, we came up with Taboo to Change—A low-budget/high-impact physical campaign that blended into an online campaign to promote the discussion.
The movement started with city walls transformed into whiteboards that asked the public a question—“What do you think about the War on Drugs?” The public was encouraged to put their thoughts on the wall, turning it into an open forum. The walls drew a crowd, causing even casual onlookers to get involved in the conversation.
By using the #warondrugs, people continued the conversation online by writing down their own thoughts and uploading them to Instagram. Online, the wall took the conversation to the next level, causing the dialog to evolve and bring the conversation of the War on Drugs from a taboo topic to the forefront of global social agenda.
People who tagged their locations when contributing to the wall, were able to have their voices heard through the social pages of their politicians. Solving the War on Drugs can’t happen overnight. But by starting an honest dialog, we give our politicians the grounds to address how drugs should be treated.
To show how easily and effective the wall was, we created our own. For $50 and a little elbow grease, we transformed an overrun billboard into a sounding board for the community to share their own thoughts on the War on Drugs. And the response was overwhelming.