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visual communication practice

Rich Uncle Pennybags Game of Debt


Description of idea

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

I decided to create monopoly money with the iconic 'uncle pennybags' being used on all the notes.I personally felt it was important to show Debt in different ways especially after reading Graeber’s essay on Debt, it was interesting to read how our earliest form of Debt was related to violence and slaves instead of money or bullion. Each note has a illustration on each side telling a different story on each note about debt as well as the symbols on the note have a connection to story. I also used the word Debt on one side of the note, while the other side of the note had different word which also meant Debt but also had a connection with the story being told on the note (for example the five hundred dollar note Debt/War).

Each note will be blown up and printed to a larger scale showing both sides of the note side by side and placing them on notice walls, polls, alley ways, buildings etc. Where theirs a large note a stack of smaller notes are placed near the note so people walking pass can collect these notes. Due to the notes being located in various parts of a city or town it encourage people to locate all seven notes making the notes a collectible item each with it’s own story and meaning and makes the viewer think about the meaning of debt as well as what is associated with debt.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

Poster sized notes and collectable paper notes.

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

People interact with one another after finding the collectable notes and discuss what is really debt?

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

I learnt there was more to debt than money (for example: owing your life for your country) and how I was involved with debt without knowing it.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

It creates discussion on the subject of debt and what it is and how it effects them.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

All around cities and towns on notice walls, polls, alley ways, buildings etc.

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?)


Curators comments More info on Curators & Editors ›

Debt is monetary. That's how we usually think about it. And that is still a trap we fall into even in the 21st century. Addressing all sorts of debt that we fall victims to by signing the social contract is of utmost importance. Debt to the country is as sinister as bank debt. You owe something at all times. Your parents, your country, your hometown, your lover...

Using an easily recognizable currency message, "Rich Uncle Pennybags Game of Debt" speaks about forms of debt that we usually are not aware of. Or we even think that it is not a debt. The work is simple and ihas this undeniable charm of street activism, coarse but articulate.

Pointing social awareness towards all these variations of debt seems to be a good way of dismantling the mechanisms of debt that we are already familiar with. This is especially true because this work incorporates the mechanism of collecting the debt (collectible banknotes).

Recognize it, collect it, disseminate it.

View other works commented by Aleksandar Maćašev  ››

This is a visually striking, well-rounded project based on a strong and coherent concept. The subversion of monopoly money is a clever approach, creating an implicit criticism of the "games" bankers and financiers are playing with people's lives. The installation of the works as a public street intervention, with large-scale posters and collectable notes extends the game dynamic to public play, creating a much deeper interaction with the "player", and in turn subverting the geography of the city. I also really like the idea of "gifting" people with "money", bringing up a host of other interesting associations and questions. The design rendering of the bank notes and the illustrations are very well done, and they certainly stand out when wheat-pasted on hoardings

This being said, it's hard to have a comprehensive judgement on the project without knowing what the "stories" are. Your submission doesn't show the individual notes in details, so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what the actual messages are that you are communicating.

Good work.

View other works commented by Kevin Yuen Kit Lo  ››

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Curators comments

This work has been commented by 2 curator(s):
Aleksandar Maćašev Kevin Yuen Kit Lo go to comments ›

Entry details


Rich Uncle Pennybags Game of Debt



Concept author(s)

Andrew Cox

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

Concepts, designed and created



Competition category

visual communication practice

Competition subcategory


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

University of Ballarat