On 30 October 2011, world population reached a mind-boggling new milestone. We are now over 7 billion inhabitants of Earth. This number has implications for everything from energy consumption, food prices, unemployment levels, political unrest, climate change and subsequent climate refugees, social inequality and global armed conflicts. Yet to any single person among us, this number is literally unfathomable. Our brains cannot conceive of such a quantity. In its enormity, “7,000,000,000” becomes an abstraction, so devoid of meaning that we become paralyzed and apathetic. And yet, apathy is the most dangerous (re)action we can have. The myriad issues raised by the soaring number of humans on this planet all demand action, change, and engagement.
We Are the Seven Billion aims to make comprehensible this monstrous figure through a tangible representation at a human scale. At the same time, the work forces us to confront the part we all play in its frightening upward spiral. We Are the Seven Billion thus functions both as a three-dimensional infographic and as a social commentary.
- Eugene Korsunskiy & Kyle Williams