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visual communication practice

Suffocate with Debt

Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:

My concept revolves around the affects of debt on individuals within a society. I asked myself a question; does accumulation of debt directly lead to jail?
That's when i realized, debt causes people to suffer in many ways before jail even becomes an option; they could suffer mentally, emotionally, psycologically,
or physically.
I studied the effects of debt and split everything into three stages
The first effect deals with being trapped. As debt accumulates, your ability to pay will fall; it will trap you. Then, debt will control you. The bank will take over
your life; they will gain control on the way you live. Finally, you will begin to suffocate.
Suffocation is the main idea behind this whole approach. The idea is that debt will destroy you inside and out. Your life will no longer be yours to control. Eventually, you start feeling as if your whole world is falling apart, and
you just can’t take any more . At this phase, it becomes almost impossible to escape; you suffocate.
I end my design with a statement that asks the audiance how they plan to escape the consqeuences of debt. Once they fall into the trap, there’s no going back; there’s no way out.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

I chose to communicate my work in a horrific and violent manner. What i mean is that i used an image that will shock any viewer, and capture his/her attention. The photograph used in approach is different; it's unexpected. It has horrific and violent aspects to it, just like debt. Because of these characteristics, one cannot help but pay attention to whatever is going on. It delivers a strong message and is self explanatory; the type merely serves to help relate the image to debt, and thus deliver the message in a stronger manner.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

My approach aims to affect each and every individual within a society. It communicates debt in a more personal manner, and affects people at a personal level. This helps an entire society relate to, and understand, the implications of debt.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

People are blinded by debt. They don't fully understand the implications of debt, and how it could affect them on a personal level.

Here's what I used to believe:
You spend money you don't have, you end up in debt.
You cant pay it, so your debt accumulates.
Eventually, you end up in jail.

Here's what i now know:
You spend money you don't have, you becoming trapped with debt.
You can't pay your debt, so your life is taken over.
You begin to worry. Worry leads to stress.
You don't know what to do, so you begin to suffocate.
You can't escape..

The effects of debt are more personal; that's what i've learned, and that's the message i wish to communicate.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

I believe my work is good communication work because it takes debt to a whole new level. Usually when people speak about debt, they aim their words towards the entire economy. My work, however, speaks about debt at a more personal level.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

My intent is to implement my work virtually, online, as well as in print format.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)

My intervention had no effect on other media yet. It has had no media reported on it.

However, I was able to witness the effects it had on some people who had seen it. I felt fear emerging from different people, as if they had just began to realize the serious punishments that come with debt.


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Entry details


Suffocate with Debt


How Will You Escape?

Concept author(s)

Rolla Hammoud

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

Though of, and implemented, the entire concept.


United Arab Emirates


Rolla Hammoud

Designer(s) year(s) of birth


Designer(s) contribution

Designed the entire poster based on my concept; Photographed the graphics used in the work.


United Arab Emirates

Competition category

visual communication practice

Competition subcategory


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

American University of Sharjah