Like me, 2.5 billion people would benefit from a simple pair of glasses. Thirty-six million people worldwide are blind, yet the majority don’t need to be – cost-effective treatments like cataract surgery or glasses could transform the lives of billions of people, but they cannot access them.
These two issues - awareness and access - separate countless people from the simple solutions to clear vision.
Project Light is a global art campaign to raise awareness of avoidable blindness with an aim to increase access to life changing eye care services to those who need it. It arose after a shared bus journey with artist-activist Yana Tavanier at a TED Summit in 2016. Yana had partnered with another TED Fellow, artist Julie Freeman, to establish the Fine Acts collective, which works to achieve social change by bringing together activists and artists from across the world.
In the spirit of TED, we explored ideas and came up with a plan, and before we knew it several leading artists attending the event told us they were keen to contribute.
One year later I was introduced to Sammy Baloji, a recipient of the Rolex Artists and Protege award and Rolex encouraged us to collaborate.