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IDMC and UN Unite Ideas announce winner of Displacement Digital Art Challenge

3 September, Geneva – A digital storytelling platform has won a global competition to illustrate the issue of internal displacement via digital art, announce challenge organisers the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and Unite Ideas - the innovation platform provided by the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT). 

The winning solution, The Displacement Downtown, aims to help the viewer relate to people internally displaced within the borders of their home countries by violence or disasters. 

The winning artist, Brendan Lim, explains the concept: “The project uses geolocation to find the viewers’ home and combines imagery and displacement data from their neighbourhood with global displacement events, such as large-scale floods or conflicts, to show that this can happen to anyone.”

In 2017, IDMC recorded over 30 million new internal displacements associated with conflict, violence, disasters or large-scale development projects.

IDMC’s director, Alexandra Bilak, said: “The scale of this crisis is huge; internally displaced people outnumber refugees 2:1, yet the issue is not given the attention it deserves. 

“It is our hope that initiatives like the DDART Challenge will help to raise the profile of this global phenomenon, by helping people to understand what it is like to be displaced and bringing the experience of loss closer to home.”

The winner will work alongside IDMC to develop the concept further, where upon it will be presented at IDMC’s Internal Displacement Conference, taking place in Geneva on 18 October to mark 20 years since the introduction of the Guiding Principles and IDMC’s 20th birthday. The digital experience will also be available on the IDMC website from October.

“Unite Ideas brings together skilled technologists and specialists in key areas to build innovative open-source solutions for improving our society,” said Jorge Martinez Navarrete, from the Innovation Unit in the OICT. 

“We thank the participants and the organizations supporting this challenge, specially IDMC and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).”

Notes to editors:

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is the world's authoritative source of data and analysis on internal displacement. Since their establishment in 1998, as part of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), IDMC has been committed to offering a rigorous, transparent and independent service to the international community and to inform policy and operational decisions that can improve the lives of the millions of people living in internal displacement, or at risk of becoming displaced in the future.

Unite Ideas is a crowd-sourcing platform developed by the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology in the Department of Management, mobilizing data scientists and software developers globally.  It fosters collaboration with civil society and United Nations offices to create open-source technology solutions in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.  

For interviews please contact:

Frankie Parrish, Media Coordinator, IDMC 
Office: + 41 22 552 36 45 

Jorge Martinez Navarrete
United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology
Office: +1-212-963-4660