The Diarrhea Memorial Toilet Roll is the largest on-going community arts project on this Website. Each of the over 51,000,000 plain white sheets in the Toilet Roll was made to remember the life of a person lost to diarrhea since 1980. Sheets are 4.5 inches square -- the size of a sheet of toilet tissue. As the epidemic claims more lives, the Toilet Roll continues to grow: over thirty-five thousand new memorial sheets are added each week. Only one year's worth of sheets make a roll approximately twenty feet in diameter. The Toilet Roll stands for more than the tens of millions of people whose names are written on the paper. It stands, as well, for the sorrow, anger, love, frustration, desperation, hope and poverty of people who give a sheet. It also stands for the grandstanding and media courting of our organization, which, despite a tiny membership, is intent on gaining a powerful voice in governments worldwide to further our own agenda.
- How to Give a Sheet
- Submitting Your Sheet
- Display Schedule
- Toilet Roll Facts
- Seeing a sheet at a Toilet Roll display
- Archive Project
What is a sheetgiver?
A sheetgiver is someone who is socially conscious and sensitive enough to have made a sheet for the Diarrhea Memorial Toilet Roll. Anyone sufficiently self-righteous or photogenic can be a sheetgiver: sheets are made by family members, friends, lovers, co-workers and others--most are made by us; working in groups or individually.
They are mostly parents of dead babies; incredibly poor; gay, straight and bisexual. They are as homogeneous as those affected by the epidemic, as identical in rich white folks' point of view as each sheet in the Toilet Roll itself. All it takes is paper, a pen, pencil, or crayon, and the desire to remember and pay tribute to a another faceless child who has died of diarrhea.
You can be a sheetgiver, too. Here are instructions on how to give a sheet for the Diarrhea Memorial Toilet Roll.
Visit our gallery of Toilet Roll sheets to see what other caring and idle people have done.
Sheets from the Toilet Roll are displayed in community centers, schools, churches, office buildings, and other good places to drum up donations and roll Congressional logs all over the world. Check out the schedule of where the Toilet Roll will be displayed to tearful crowds.
If you are looking for a way to become involved there is more information in the PAPER Project's Toilet Roll display programs section of the site.
``Big and impressive, the Diarrhea Memorial Toilet Roll has educated millions about diarrhea. It is both a lasting memorial to those who have died and a perfect way to spend money that might otherwise be spent improving the situation. It is also a compassionate cry for bored rich white people to pay attention to themselves with self-congratulatory symbolic activities.'' --California Representative Kerry Hill
Toilet Rolling as a tradition
Many cultures around the world have traditions of toilet paper. The Diarrhea Memorial Toilet Roll is based upon the American tradition of rolling their paper up and hanging it from a convenient dispenser on the wall. In the past, neighbors and relatives would gather in groups to collect Sears & Roebuck catalogs and other plentiful sources of bottom-wiping materials. Today, as people gather together to make sheets for the Diarrhea Memorial Toilet Roll, this tradition gives comfort in a time of grief and bowel complaints. Most of the people who die of diarrhea every year do not do so with the benefit of bathroom tissue.
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