The growing interest in volunteering in developing countries has led to a real voluntary industry in recent years. This industry is also referred to as voluntourism: offering help, for example to vulnerable children, and at the same time gaining a special travel experience in a faraway country. It sounds like a great outcome for both parties, but as soon as you zoom in on it, it turns out that unfortunately it also has adverse effects. More than we would initially think.
Despite all the good intentions of volunteers, other things also play a major role. Think of decorating a curriculum vitae, stroking your own ego and profiling your goodwill. Orphanages also seem to benefit from the phenomenon in question, regardless of the good intentions. Volunteers have to deposit a large amount of money; orphanages spend this income on orphans, but also put a large part in their own pocket. Both orphans and volunteers are victims of an at first sight beautiful initiative. The result of this earning model is that the number of children in orphan-ages increases, while the number of actual orphans decreases. An imbalance arises.
Status-quo symbolically outlines the desire for an ideal balance between supply and demand within voluntourism. In the performance the volunteer and the orphan are central. What does an orphan need and to what extent can you contribute as a volunteer? To what extent does a volunteer in the first place clean up his own image, or is that image even laundered? You can also ask yourself what the orphan wants and by whom the need for care has been formulated.
The performance consists of frantic attempts to find a balance between different objects. The white and black objects are metaphors for different concepts. Gradually it becomes visible that it is impossible to build a balanced tower, no matter how hard we try. A painful and in vain search, time after time, for the right balance.
In this way an invisible world is made visible. A world in which all hard and soft contrasts are visualized, without judging too much. Life is not black or white. It is infinite shades of gray.