afaqs! news bureau

UNESCO challenges the perception of 'normal'

Created by DDB Paris, the campaign uses facts to explain how we differentiate between what's normal, and what's not.

To understand how privileged you are is a tough pill to swallow. But, you must if you're to understand how it warps your reality and alienates you from the truth; something that's sparse these days.

Facts were and still remain one of the most potent allies to alter people's perceptions shaped by privilege, and open their eyes to the world around them. It's exactly what UNESCO has done for its new campaign called 'The Next Normal'.

The organisation, on its website, said that people across the globe showed solidarity during the COVID health emergency, and saw how enhanced cooperation can help build a better future.

But as the world begins to emerge from the COVID pandemic, we tend to forget the lessons we learnt and 'get back to normal', disregarding the cost of what we regard as normal to our environment, economies, public health and societies.

It says, "The 2’20” film relies on facts to prove its point. Facts about the world before and during the COVID pandemic. Put together, these facts make us question our ideas about what is 'normal', suggesting that we have accepted the unacceptable for far too long. Our previous reality can’t be considered normal any longer, now is the time to make a change. It all starts with education, science, culture and information."

UNESCO uses contrasting facts to show how our worldview considers some facts normal, and some not normal:

  • Air pollution causes 8.8 million early deaths a year – normal

  • During COVID-19, Himalayan peaks become visible for the first time in 30 years – not normal

  • Top influencers earn more than $1 million for one social media post – normal

  • A nurse makes the cover of The New York Times Magazine – not normal

UNESCO believes that the need for lasting change must take root in the hearts and minds of people everywhere before it becomes a reality.

Created by DDB Paris, UNESCO calls upon the media and opinion leaders to share 'The Next Normal' campaign.