In North Korea, the world’s most closed society, flash drives are valuable tools of education and discovery. In a society without internet, with total government censorship and with no independent media, North Koreans rely on these little pieces of plastic. Filled with films, books, and internet content, they are windows to the outside world.
A few years ago, a group of defectors began smuggling USB drives with media from all over the world. However, they were buying these at cost which provided limitations . We partnered with the Human Rights Foundation to create a campaign to inspire people all over the world to donate their unused drives.
"Flash Drives for Freedom" launched at SXSW in 2016 and the idea spread like wildfire. The campaign was picked up by various news outlets including USA Today, The Guardian, Le Monde and ABC. Thousands of attendees saw the work and shared it on social media.
The campaign is currently on a world tour, including Oslo, Seoul, London, Las Vegas, Guatemala City, Chicago, Brussels, Copenhagen, New York, and San Francisco. The idea continues to receive coverage and has been included in documentaries by Frontline, PBS, Vice and the Economist. We have collected more than 130,000 drives thus far.
2018 One Show - Silver, PR
2017 D&AD - Bronze, Impact
FLash Drives for Freedom
We created an installation that was itself a donation mechanism. Real propaganda from Kim Jong-un emits from each mouth. When you insert a USB drive, it literally silences him. It is currently traveling throughout the world, gathering drives and raising awareness.
We created posters in the constructivist, propaganda style as a call to action to donate. We sold them at trade shows and online. Each poster purchase donated 15 drives.