Press Releases and Statements

Colors 73 – Money

A magazine about the rest of the money


Treviso, January 2008. We hold it in our hand or drop it into someone else’s, and we stuff it in our pockets. We spend more time with it than we realise, yet we treat it like a stranger. We can’t do without it, but we never stop to ask ourselves where it comes from, where it’s going and how much it’s worth.

Colors 73 looks at our most coveted life companion. Money. In its myriad forms. Touched millions of times, money retains traces of the people who possessed it, and their activities – be they noble or despicable. Colors searched for telltale substances through lab tests, and investigated the money of the people whose roots are planted in those substances. First-world money explained in the words of internationally renowned economists. And third-world money: the non-conventional economies, the payments and transactions of the rest of the world.

Efigenia’s treasure, for example, is a mountain of carefully sorted rubbish. In her town of Curitiba, Brazil, her “savings” buy food. It’s called Green Exchange and Efigenia has become quite an entrepreneur in this line of business. In Baghdad, on the other hand, blood is lost in litres and replaced in cash – US$3,500 to be precise; the amount Sayef paid on the black market for his son’s transfusions.

If, however, your problem is where to put your money, then why not imitate Gomam, Mir, Yole and Yaghot? They were very alarmed when the Soviet Union collapsed and so, like many other Azeris, they filled their mouths with gold teeth. Who knows, they could be useful one day. But until then, they’re in a safe place. There are no banks in Kenya and so gold is not needed. Money is transferred and deposited via text message.

Waste, blood, metal. And ash, oil, cocaine, soil, skin, silicon, faeces, plastic, cellulose, ink. Colors’ journey through the matter and substance of money finishes with the sweat of those who work to repay a micro-loan. From the union between the third and the first worlds, to the economy of big numbers explained on the “golden pages”, Colors’ mini encyclopaedia. From curious facts – how much gold in the world? – to the profits of war, oil and drugs.

Colors 73 – Money
On sale from February 2008. In three bilingual editions – English with Italian, French or Spanish.


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