World Toilet Day

Gail Armstrong creates three stamps dedicated to World Toilet Day 2021.

World Toilet Day celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. WTD is an official United Nations international observance day on 19 November to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis.

Gail's stamps were created on three themes, firstly Hygiene and health - how access to clean sanitation prevents the spread of diseases - flowing soap and water cleanse away diseases such as Covid 19, typhoid, cholera etc. Secondly Sustainable Sanitation - how waste water collected from toilets can be processed for use as a fertiliser thus improving crops, and thirdly Access to Education - a lack of safe space, particularly for pubescent girls, is a proven barrier to education. Converted shipping containers are one practical solution; here the open book symbol represents education and is transformed into a container toilet that a schoolgirl happily skips towards.

Gail adds, "Initially I thought it would take quite a clinical solution to the brief, illustrating toilets, but as I researched deeper I realised that was not appropriate. I was struck not just by the positive impact access to clean, safe sanitation was making to people’s lives, but also their attitude to and deep appreciation of the toilets themselves, decorating and celebrating them. I wanted that celebratory attitude to come across on the stamps." 

In addition, the UN also commissioned Milly Lanksbury to film Gail working and to create a “making of” video, giving insight into the process of creating the images.

Watch the video here.

paper sculpture
gail armstrong
united nations
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