Inclusive Cities

‘Nobody in the Dark’ shines a light on digital exclusion

November 13, 2020 | By Hayden Harrison
“With a year full of so many question marks, I know it’s hard to find yourself in the dark.”

Those were the words of poet and mental health campaigner Hussain Manawer that illuminated tower blocks in London and Bristol, U.K. on Nov. 11. The exhibition lasted 19 minutes, 40 seconds to raise awareness of the 19.4 million Brits who remain digitally and financially excluded and worry about their financial futures, particularly amidst the crippling pandemic.

Manawer collaborated with Mastercard and its partners, including Good Things Foundation, to launch the latest phase of the Nobody in the Dark campaign, which seeks to provide people with easy-to-use tools and practical advice to help navigate their way through COVID-19 and beyond. Digital and financial exclusion stem from the lack of access to resources many people take for granted – a bank account, for example, or internet access in their home. Not having these tools can make it harder for adults to save money or cause students to fall behind their peers at school.

“If we can educate and inform people it can only benefit society; starting a conversation and providing tools for help during this pandemic is important,” Manawer says. “Digital [exclusion] is something that affects many people in my life … With everything changing so quickly, it's important this reaches and lets people know that they are really not alone.”

Nobody in the Dark is part of Mastercard’s larger initiative to grow digital and financial inclusion and literacy in the U.K. and around the world. 

“This campaign was important for me,” Manawer says. “It’s reassuring to see Mastercard join forces with these charities to help implement necessary change and support people in need.”

Hayden Harrison, Storytelling Specialist, Mastercard

Hayden writes and creates stories for Vocalink and Mastercard, and also curates our topics.