It’s a vending machine but not necessary one that you would recognise.
Stocked with unaffordable products, the vending machine reflects inflated food prices in Yemen, a consequence of the ongoing conflict which has tipped the fragile nation into an economic tailspin and intended to destabilise the presumptions of individuals who interact with it by stocking familiar products – fizzy drinks, crisps, chocolate bars – with highly inflated price tags which are directly reflective of the financial situation in Yemen.
The cost of the items in it have been multiplied by a factor of twenty to give an idea of how much a Yemeni person would have to pay for basic items.
A box of eggs,Ian Austin told us, has gone up twenty times since the conflict started.”eighty per cent of the people in Yemen have been affected by possibly the worst humanitarian crisis in the world at the moment.”
“The shelves are filled with food but people cannot afford it.”
One passer by James Walshaw, who had travelled up from London was drawn to the vending machine and had learnt a lot more about the crisis
“London is a place of great wealth and prosperity,it has got its own problems but somewhere like Yemen is just a different level and it’s a very serious crisis”
The intervention is intended to spark conversation about the Yemen conflict ahead of the exhibition Yemen: Inside a Crisis (17 May 2019 – 26 January 2020) at IWM North.
The exhibition will be the UK’s first to address Yemen’s on-going conflict and humanitarian crisis. It will showcase around 50 objects and photographs, many of which have been exclusively sourced from Yemen for this exhibition.