On Monday, Van Bussel, from the Netherlands, was one of the keynote speakers at the Open Design Afrika Festival, sponsored by the City of Cape Town. Speakers, who included mayor Dan Plato, discussed the power of innovation, collaboration, and using design for positive change in Africa.
While some made speeches and others took part in street protests to show they care about human rights, Van Bussel, an activist artist, spent seven years travelling the world convincing people to get tattoos to show their commitment to human rights.
The living art project was sparked by the February 2012 killing of Stephen Nyash, a friend and colleague shot dead in an informal settlement in Kenya.
“The killing made me angry and I started thinking of something to do to protect people from having their lives taken just like that. It was then the idea popped into my head that maybe we should unite as a text,” said Van Bussel.