World Cities Recreated in Toilet Paper Rolls

Shaunacy Ferro
WaterAid / WaterAid

It’s hard not to be impressed by artists who can construct entire worlds on a small scale. To raise awareness about global sanitation issues as part of World Toilet Day, artist Anastassia Elias—who specializes in cutout art built in toilet paper rolls—teamed up with nonprofit organization WaterAid to create mini cityscapes inside the cylindrical cardboard tubes.

Elias’s art depicts cities as diverse as Dhaka, Bangladesh; Agra, India; Bogotá, Colombia; and New York City. Her tiny works feature notable architecture from each metro area, from the Taj Mahal to Big Ben.

Here's Bogotá in miniature:

WaterAid explains how cities figure into the fight for better sanitation like this:

"The success of cities like London, Tokyo, Sydney, Toronto, Stockholm, and New York is in part due to the fact that they all have safe sanitation systems, which protect their inhabitants from disease. "However, more than 700 million people in towns and cities across the world are living without decent toilets. Around 100 million of these people have no choice but to do their business in the open—using roadsides, railway tracks, waste-ground, or plastic bags. As a result, disease can spread quickly."

Timbuktu, Mali

To get a better idea of how this kind of art comes together, you can watch Elias at work in the video below.

All images courtesy WaterAid.