Love has many forms and even more ways to be expressed. Here are five ways people around the world are redefining Valentine’s Day and showing us how it can be a lot bigger and more influential than those red roses you’ll be receiving.
MCA’s #HeartsForArt Campaign, Sydney
Love extends beyond our relationships with humans and Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art is giving visitors the excuse to show their love for the current works displayed on Valentine’s Day.
Art-goers are encouraged to mark the works they love with a little paper heart, then share their picks on social media with the hashtag, HeartsforArt.
Following the lead of major international art museums like the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the project aims to connect art lovers around the world and spread the message about local contemporary art.
“The #HeartsforArt campaign invites [visitors] to engage with the work of living artists and have a fun day out; whilst giving us a chance to connect with a global art-loving community and give them a taste for Australian contemporary art,” explains MCA’s Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE.
Refugee Knit-In, London
Organised by Knit Aid, Londoner are turning their gaze outward on Valentine’s Day by meeting in Moorgate and staging a knit-in aimed at giving a refugees some warmth.
Knitters, who can be of all levels as beginners can expect some on-hand expert advice, will be spending the traditionally romantic day knitting as many squares as they can to eventually come together as blankets for those who have made the journey to France and other Greek islands in attempts to settle in Europe.
In addition to the knitted goods, the knit-in will donate 10% of the ticket prices to aid organisations that assists with the support of refugees across Europe.
FareShare’s Valentine’s Day Charity Dinner, Melbourne
On a day when most will be sharing a meal with loved ones, the work that Melbourne charity FareShare, which reclaims surplus food and turns it into meals for the homeless, will go a long way towards giving those less fortunate a little extra love.
Valentine’s Day volunteers will get together in the kitchen to prepare food for those in need and while the main focus is of course spreading love to those who need it most, there’s a little love-catch: each participant must bring a single friend of the opposite sex (it’s Valentine’s after all).
Name a Roach, New York
Aimed at raising awareness and funds for these “misunderstood” creatures, the Bronx Zoo is giving local lovebirds the opportunity to name a cockroach after their partner as a symbol of their love.
According to the zoo, there are “tens of thousands of roaches remain unnamed” but those who take part in the romantic naming of a Madagascar hissing cockroach will receive a certificate as proof of their moniker purchase for their loved one to cherish.
The proceeds go to helping protect roaches, and other animals at the Bronx Zoo and acts as a worthy reminder to seek beauty in everything, big or small.
Reaching out to Nsawam Prison, Ghana
Ghanian rapper Kwaw Kesse aka Emmanuel Bothwey has been through the prison system himself – he served five weeks in the Kumasi Central Prison for smoking cannabis in public – and is now determined to give those on the inside a little love.
“Valentine’s Day is a day of love and on a day like that, I am going to share my love with the inmates of Nsawam Prison,” he said after announcing his plans on Instagram.
The rapper is asking fellow Ghanians as well as corporate and charity organisations for donations to help feed 4,000 prisoners on Valentine’s Day in order to give them a little hope and love.