Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on a street art project for Kenco coffee. It’s based on Kenco’s new ad campaign Coffee vs Gangs – Kenco buy their coffee beans from farmers in Honduras, but this beauiful South America country is murder capital of the world. With crime rates roaring due to gang violence, Kenco decided to get actively involved in trying to create another way for young people that are exposed to this on a daily basis.
Kenco are are taking 20 young people from diffeent backgrounds and bringing them into the coutryside to grow coffee, investing in them and giving them a new direction in life. I find this a brave move for a industry that has generally produced adverts that talk about the product’s ‘richness and smoothness’ but rarely focus on the poverty and roughness that the producers country experiences.
When I first saw the advert I was stuck by the contrast of imagery between the gang life and the warmth of the countryside, this became the basis for the street art pieces I painted in Dublinin early October this year. In my mural there’s a contrast between the dark soil, decay and death that refelects the gang life and what is above the ground, which is a colourful coffee plant with rich colours and sunshine. We live in a world where buzz words like ‘Corporate Responsibilty’ are banded around without knowing what that means, but Kenco are doing something very different, they are getting involved, rolling their sleeves up and making a measureable difference. Follow the journey for these young people in Honduras by visiting www.coffeevsgang.com