TORONTO, April 3, 2019 /CNW/ - That eye-catching image that you might think is an ad for your next favourite healthy snack? It's actually a surprising misdirect campaign designed to help Canadians understand what Ukrainians experienced during the famine-genocide known as the Holodomor that killed millions, launching to coincide with Genocide Awareness Month in April.
Never heard of it? You're not alone.
"Awareness of the Holodomor is increasing but still woefully low," says Roma Dzerowicz, Executive Director at the Holodomor National Awareness Tour, the organization behind the campaign. "To raise awareness, educate, and create empathy for what Ukrainians went through during this terrible time, that is our goal for this campaign."
The term 'Holodomor' (Ukrainian for "death inflicted by starvation") refers to the genocidal starvation of 4-7 million Ukrainians in 1932–33. The Holodomor occurred when Soviet authorities, under the leadership of Stalin, first seized all grain and eventually all food from the country.
You can expect to see ads on campus for 'Holodomor Fine Foods,' the latest gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, vegan and locally-sourced food brand on the market. Except these food products aren't food at all. They're the things Ukrainians foraged in the attempt to stay alive during the Holodomor: bark, hay and roots.
"Death on a massive scale is hard to comprehend, so people have a difficult time empathizing. For most Canadians, starvation to the point of death is impossible to even fathom," says Joe Myers, president and founder of Mixtape (MXTP.ca), the advertising agency that came up with the campaign.
Greg Shortall, executive creative director at MXTP, adds, "This phenomenon even has a name: psychic numbing, so we decided to piggy-back our message on food products -- something Canadians experience every day."
The awareness campaign is being piloted at the University of Toronto, York, Centennial College and Ryerson starting March 18, 2019 and will include murals and digital video boards. Video content will feature footage from a Holodomor Fine Foods tasting earlier this month where visitors sampled bark soup, hay pancakes and roots, experiencing first-hand what millions ate to survive during the Holodomor.
The murals and video boards are intended to drive viewers to visit the campaign website at HolodomorFineFoods.com, which delivers the final reveal and a link to the site of the Holodomor National Awareness Tour. There, educators can learn more about the Holodomor and book a visit from the organization's state-of-the-art mobile classroom, which travels the country teaching about the Holodomor and genocides taking place today in Yemen, Syria, and Myanmar.
By spreading awareness about the Holodomor, we can help put an end to crimes against humanity forever.
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SOURCE Holodomor National Awareness Tour
For further information: Joe Myers, [email protected]