Close your eyes. Now, think of your home. What are you picturing? Maybe you’re picturing a certain room or building, or quite possibly your own backyard. Maybe it’s a general area, like your city or town, rather than a specific location. But whatever you’re picturing, it’s probably a physical place. Your place. Now, imagine it’s gone.
That’s a land grab.
Land grabbing generally refers to large-scale land acquisitions, whereby companies, governments, and individuals buy up large tracts of land in poor, developing countries. This process dislocates and displaces the people who live on the land, without compensation or a voice in the matter.
Oxfam, an international organization that works to fight poverty and injustice worldwide, is in the process of launching a new campaign called Oxfam GROW. The GROW campaign is an attempt to persuade the World Bank to take a leading role in fighting against land grabs. The British band Coldplay is helping to spearhead the initiative through a new fan-fueled music video.
Directed by Mat Whitecross, Coldplay’s longtime video director, and set against an acoustic audio recording of Coldplay’s song ‘In My Place,’ the video asks for fan submissions that echo the theme of displacement. Fans can submit videos and photographs in which they are doing something normally done at home, i.e. shaving, in the totally ‘wrong place.’
I wanted to create the feeling of people being out of place in order to illustrate the suffering that so many people experience because of land grabs, explained Whitecross.
Fans can go to the ‘In My Place Film’ site, by March 20th, to submit their films and photos. Whitecross will then stitch together the fan content for an exclusive video to play along with the song.
The large global following that Coldplay provides offers a great audience for Oxfam to harness and engage on a topic that is otherwise overlooked. To date, the fan ‘Grow Wall’ on the video’s website has over 21,000 participants. Fans also have the ability to participate by spreading the project to their social media, and signing a petition for the project on the website.
Check out the site here, and watch a promo for the project below:
Images via Oxfam and Coldplay