An important part of the World Bank Art Program’s mandate is to help artists expand their role as sensitive social barometers in order to promote dialogue between our institution and its stakeholders.
With this goal in mind, following the success of its Africa Now! exhibition in 2007-09, the World Bank Art Program launched About Change in Latin America and the Caribbean. About Change has celebrated Latin America and the Caribbean through its contemporary visual arts from May 2009 through June 2012.
About Change is a visual platform using art as a means to enrich the dialogue among the World Bank, the Latin American and Caribbean peoples, and the international community.
April 5, 2012: open About Change: Photos and More - the last of the series of eleven exhibitions that have showcased the opportunities, challenges, values, hopes and aspirations of the region through hundreds of artworks, selected through a very competitive juried process.
About Change: Photos and More features a selection of artworks from Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, with a strong emphasis on photographic works.
Nourished by the profound differences among their diverse cultural and ethnic heritages, the artworks presented in About Change: Photos and More reflect clearly their unique cultural references, their history and traditions. At the same time, they resonate with shared transnational themes. About Change: Photos and More tells the viewer as much about the region as the Bank’s annual report, but in a different manner. Graphs and charts, as well as paintings, talk about regional priorities and the impact of international emergencies, such as the food price crisis, child labor, migration, climate change, violence, and social inequality, but there are also stories of resilience, humor and universalities of our human condition. Not unlike social workers and visionaries, the artists of About Change call on viewers and societies to engage in hard self-reflection. As in the words of artist Jorge Oqueli from Honduras:
The common thread that runs through the heart of these works is the idea, or better, the utopia, of embracing change as hope, as a promise of life. Though we may not have enough evidence that we are building “a better world for all,” we refuse to accept misfortune as our destiny. Even in the remotest corners of the planet, every person aspires to be free and fulfilled; we all want to leave behind a worthy memory, an honorable legacy, a path we would not be ashamed for others to retrace. We seek to enrich the meaning of what it is to be human.
A millenarian message comes out of this unmistakably “21st century” exhibition: change must come, and its time is now.
About Change is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue (Spanish-English) available in pdf format on this website beginning September 2012. The catalogue will be on sale at the World Bank Info-Shop beginning April 2, 2012.
About Change is organized by the World Bank Art Program under the auspices of the World Bank Vice Presidency for Latin America and the Caribbean Region and in partnership with the Cultural Center of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and AMA│the Art Museum of the Americas, Organization of the American States (OAS).
DISCLAIMER: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Art Program had to scale down the planned exhibition of About Change: Photos and More, thus excluding many works of already selected artists. We deeply apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and express our profound regret for this last minute contraction of the project’s scope. All selected artists are featured in the catalogue.