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A Vanishing Boys Choir Represents A More Serious Problem

In order to highlight the sobering statistic that every three seconds a child perishes, the Wuppertaler Kurrende Boy’s Choir turned a recent performance into a disappearing act.

As alarming as statistics can be on the page, sometimes it takes the visceral impact of a physical demonstration to bring the point home. A new video from the International Children’s Fund proves as much with the aid of a rapidly shrinking choir.

A recent statistic shows that every three seconds a child meets an end that should have been preventable. (Hunger and disease are the main culprits.) In an effort to illuminate this information and make it more than just a number, agency Grey Dusseldorf recruited the Wuppertaler Kurrende boys choir to give a memorable performance for an an unsuspecting audience.

In the video, the choir begins singing "Mad World," a song originally by Tears for Fears, but made famous by Gary Jules about a decade ago. The boys’ harmonious version is soon interrupted slightly when one of the boys walks away. Soon another follows, and another after that; one departing every three seconds until there is only a single boy left on the stage, and he explains the statistic to the surprised crowd. Even though the boys have clearly just gone to another room, seeing their steady exodus makes it easier to visualize a number as more than a number.

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