The Human Rights Watch Burma Pen project, a giant installation built at New York’s Grand Central Terminal, has won a Gold Cube at the 90th ADC Awards for design. The installation consisted of hundreds of prison cells, with pens for bars. Visitors could remove the pens to symbolically free the prisoners, and then use the pen to sign a petition. In 2010, Burma held its first elections in 20 years. These elections would have been meaningless if more than 2,100 political prisoners remain locked up in Burma’s squalid prisons. Thousands of signatures were collected from people of 86 countries. The event attracted media from around the globe. The petition book was sent to the United Nations Secretary General and leaders of countries that maintain close ties with Burma. More than 150 political prisoners have since been released, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Burma Prison Pens project was developed at JWT New York by chief creative officers Harvey Marco and Peter Nicholson, executive creative director Andrew Clarke, copywriter Chris Swift, art director Roy Wisnu, head of art Aaron Padin, director of integrated production Clair Grupp, directors of production Nick Scotting and Kit Liset, account executive Lindsay Gash, art buyers Elizabeth Corkery and Sara Levi, print producers Paul Charbonnier, production manager John Minze and producer Tadd Ryan, project managers Elaine Barker and Jessie Hoyt. Editing was done at JWTwo.
The installation was produced by Cigar Box Studios Inc., Graphic Technology, Uni-Graphic, Print International, Circle Graphics and C2 Graphics. Filming was by director of photography Izzy Levine, with photographers Bill Bramswig and Platon.