As part of its goal to redefine sustainability, Xperien has partnered with You Made This (YMT) to drive corporate and public engagement around eWaste and the circular economy. YMT is an art-based and art-led public engagement and awareness initiative that responds to the insatiable demand for new electronic devices and the resultant eWaste that fills up landfills, pollutes the environment and poses severe health risks.
Through disruptive art installations, exhibitions, events interventions, auctions and various other means of engagement, YMT aims to educate the public about the negative environmental impact of eWaste and the correct disposal of thereof. It also encourages participation in the circular economy of refurbished computers and electronic equipment.
Dominic Humphry-Arewa, Xperien marketing director and founder of the non-profit You Made This, says the future of our planet depends on sustainable practices. “The main drive of this initiative is to educate and encourage corporates to dispose of eWaste responsibly as well as the financial and ethical benefits of participating in the circular economy.”
“We believe in the value of art and the role of the artist to create impactful and meaningful change towards a sustainable future for both humans and the planet. We collaborate with artists, providing them with access to a range of eWaste material to create artwork that facilitates awareness, education and dialogue around eWaste,” he explains.
YMT creates an experience that engages the public through art. It cultivates a space for meaningful dialogue around eWaste and encourages action through providing tangible information. The name summarises how everyone is directly involved in the generation of eWaste and its devastating impact on the planet’s ecosystems.
“By acknowledging that ‘you did this’, we can encourage accountability. Environmental and social responsibility awareness is at the heart of our name because eWaste is everyone’s problem,” he stresses.
YMT is impact driven, with the core goal of changing consumer behaviour and intervening in the inevitable trajectory of electronic devices into landfills. The aim is to reduce our harmful impact on the environment and to show how the public can act immediately to make a difference so that the artists can help spread the message.
“We believe in the intrinsic value of art and the role of artists in creating impactful and lasting meaningful change for a sustainable future for people and the planet. We provide artists with a variety of eWaste materials to create their artwork with, and to collaborate with us to spread the message,” he adds.
Arewa says as part of the effort, they are involved in creating and facilitating various programs. “Our Artist Program provides artists with access to hard-to-find eWaste materials to create artwork. We work with artists to bring their creative visions to life while providing a platform for them to be recognised.”
YMT plans to work with individuals and groups to create workshops that engage various communities on eWaste and its environmental impact. They are currently collaborating with South African artist Francois Knoetze on the Indigenous Youth Technologies Workshop organised by Lo-Def Film Factory and Russel Hlognwane.
Additionally, YMT deploys disruptive art-based awareness campaigns into public spaces within the greater Johannesburg metropolitan area to engage and educate the public, spread awareness and inspire action.
As a parallel program complimentary to its Artist Program, YMT plans exhibitions and exhibit opening events at various venues, galleries and public spaces to raise awareness, educate, engage with various stakeholders, showcase artist work and inspire action.
“Artwork auctions go a long way in supporting artists, awareness campaigns, raising awareness for our organisation and furthering the mission at hand,” he concludes.