Artists for Tomorrow with UN75 and TFIU
In 2020, the United Nations marks its 75th anniversary with UN75, an initiative for dialogue on global priorities. As part of the UN75 programme, the UN is engaging with artists whose work exemplifies an imaginative and collaborative approach to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 objectives for a better world are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, adopted by all 193 UN Member States in 2015, which has now entered its 10-year implementation period, the Decade of Action (2020-2030).
The Ark Re-imagined has been invited to participate as one of the featured projects in Artists for Tomorrow, an exhibition by The Future is Unwritten (TFIU) and UN75 that aims to amplify artists’ visions for what might be possible by 2045, the United Nations’ centennial.
The Ark Re-imagined is acknowledged for its work with communities in central, southern and western Iraq to protect, document and revive their endangered boatbuilding and craft traditions, using this cultural heritage as a catalyst to bring communities together, invite interdisciplinary collaboration, create sustainable livelihoods and reconnect people with the ecological heritage on which culture has always depended.
Though identical in size and form, the Atlas pages with their different landscapes imprint each paper boat with individuality as parts of a greater whole; “we are all in the same boat”. As a landscape the fragmentation of the Atlas and its re-arrangement in a topographic gradient reinvents continents into a geography that emphasises commonality and overcomes distance. A landscape of surprise and recognition unfolds with textual references from the original Atlas pages and margins creating a sign posted path throughout.
Smaller Atlas Ark works have been created as performance and photographic pieces in the marshes of southern Iraq. Further works are planned as outdoor performance pieces on the waterways of London.