Liberty842’s Tilley Harris is directing the inexchange project, a photography, film and social media project about organ donation. Tilley is part of Voist who are conducting the project, a small creative collective that uses photos, video and journalism to deliver ideas, information and opinions.

The project’s primary aim is to change attitudes surrounding organ donation in Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities through a street based exhibition and online interactive campaign.

According to the UK Transplant website, approximately 8,000 people are waiting for organ transplants in the UK – with a disproportionately greater number from minority ethnic backgrounds.

The success of organ transplantation depends heavily on blood type; with very few type B donors (the predominant blood type of Asian & Afro Caribbean groups) on the register, organ donation within ethnic communities is becoming a serious public health issue. As the need for organs amongst its members increases, the racial mix of donors needs to match the demand more closely.

Working alongside Gurch Randhawa, Professor of Diversity in Public Health & Director of the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire, inexchange hopes to encourage more people from BME groups to sign up to the organ donation register.

Inexchange’s video promoting their project to increase organ donation in BME groups

inexchange aims to deliver its mission statement: to inform, connect and inspire through a participatory exhibition from which workshops, events and talks will be held. A collection of photographic essays with accompanying text will offer insight into what life is like waiting for an organ and how life changing it is to receive one. This will aim to show communities how organ failure and donation can relate to everyone, as well sharing these stories on the inexchange website.

inexchange aims to take its street exhibition to several locations in and around the capital, visiting areas where there are a higher proportion of BME communities including Hackney, Brixton and Elephant & Castle. It further hopes to be able to tie the exhibition into cultural and religious events including Black History Month, Eid and Diwali.

Liberty842 is working with inexchange to develop a social media strategy for the project. This includes rolling out an online campaign, featuring a website with a blog about organ donation, relevant stories and collected photographs. Social online networking (e.g. Facebook, YouTube) will play a big part in helping to generate wider interest and support.

Daisy says: “We were really inspired by The Great Schlep campaign in the US that aimed to help get Obama elected. It encouraged young Jewish people to visit their grandparents in Florida – a key state – and persuade them to vote for Obama. They were given all the facts, tools and arguments they needed.

“The Inexchange project aims to use social networks to encourage discussion and debate about organ donation. This campaign won’t be on the scale of the Great Schlep, but if we can persuade more people to sign up to the register, and pass on their experiences, we’ll have succeeded.”

By Emma Rink

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