Medium and message: Darfur stop the war coalition

A coalition to stop the war in Darfur was careful to choose imagery that was recognisable around the world.

The Globe for Darfur coalition used the symbol of an hourglass filled with mock blood during its recent Global Day for Darfur on 29 April. The coalition, which is campaigning to raise awareness of the violent conflict in the west of Sudan, is made up of more than 40 charities and non-governmental organisations, including Amnesty International and One World Trust, a charity that works to make global organisations more accountable.

A total of 10,000 hourglasses were distributed to demonstrators across the world. A two-metre hourglass was also displayed outside Downing Street. Hratche Koundarjian, parliamentary officer at the Aegis Trust, a charity that campaigns against genocide and is one of Globe for Darfur's members, says: "We chose the hourglass because time is running out for the international community to take steps, and time is running out for the Sudanese government."

The hourglass was chosen partly because it is recognised around the world. For a previous Aegis-supported campaign, for example, rape alarms were sounded outside Downing Street to highlight the issue of sexual violence in the Darfur conflict - but the alarms lacked international resonance.

"People could understand hourglasses wherever they were - whether it was in the Middle East or east Asia," says Koundarjian. "If you're working with groups internationally, you have to figure out something everyone is happy with."

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