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Heart for a heart campaign
Courtesy of Philippe Kliot (@philippekliot) and The Full Service (@thefullservice)

Rankin calls on creative community to fight heart disease

The photographer and Dazed co-founder launches a social media campaign with help from Erin O’Connor, Helena Christensen, Gillian Anderson, and more

In honour of World Heart Day today, photographer and Dazed co-founder Rankin has launched a social media campaign alongside The British Heart Foundation. Called #heartforaheart, it hopes to bring awareness to the fight against heart disease. “Every three minutes someone is lost to heart and circulatory disease in the UK, it’s horrific, but it’s true,” the photographer and Dazed co-founded explains. “I’m in awe of the British Heart Foundation and the work they do. They’re up against a tough adversary.”

The campaign encourages people to create photos playing with the heart as a symbol and to upload them to their accounts with the hashtag #aheartforaheart. Actress Gillian Anderson, model Erin O'Connor, model-turned-photographer Helena Christensen, and more, have all lent their support, sharing their own artworks. “We've had an incredible array of hearts sent to us,” Rankin continues. “We’ve had jewellery sent in, someone has had a neon light commissioned, people have used their own bodies, kids drawings and so much more. It’s always amazing to see how creative people can be.”

“Every three minutes someone is lost to heart and circulatory disease in the UK, it’s horrific, but it’s true” – Rankin

Every day in the UK, seven million people battle heart disease, while 430 people die from it and 530 people are admitted to hospital with heart attacks. “The sole purpose of this campaign is to spread awareness. We want people to know and understand the work that this charity does for people, the difficulties that sufferers have to go through, and the way they can help,” Rankin reveals.

Aside from the obvious connection to the cause, Rankin explains the symbolism behind the heart – particularly in relation to social media. “It can be romantic, it can be broken, it can be used on t-shirts to profess love for a city, but, in recent years, it’s become synonymous with social media. People use it every day as a form of social communication. Now, it has a meaning that crosses culture, language and the globe in general.

“We’re in an age of social media. Some people see this as a bad thing but I don’t at all. If you see it as a tool, it opens up a world of possibilities and spreads an idea or message quicker than we’ve ever seen before. Surely that’s what advertising and, in turn, fundraising, is all about?” He continues, “Plus it gets the public involved – we’re not just talking at them, we’re talking to them... with them. Social media is one huge conversation, and a social media awareness campaign simply directs the conversation in a positive and useful direction.”

To get involved, share a heart on your social media with the hashtag #heartforaheart #worldheartday. Follow @the_bhf@rankinarchive@thefullservice

Contributors at time of writing includes: Etro, Caragh Thuring, Emma  Freud, Tom Dixon, Nick Waplington, Giles Deacon, Gillian Anderson, Carey Mulligan, Robert Sheehan, Duggie Fields, Diane Pernet, Kate Orr, Jack Guinness, Holly Silus,  Betony Vernon, Diane Pernet, Marissa Bourke, Gill Button, Jamie Campbell Bower, Fornasetti, Daisy and Poppy De Villeneuve, Paul Davis, Nicholas Hoult, Erin O’ Connor, Andrew Gallimore, John Richmond, Vivetta, Pam Hogg, Steven Tai, Charlotte Tilbury, Nigel Coates, Gered Mankowitz, David Montgomery, Julie Verhoeven, Anna Friel, Damien Hirst, Helena Christensen, Beth Ditto, Holly Willoughby