Global Conversation: 2nd Round

The 2nd round of Global Conversation, curated from an open call, brought together artists from around the world responding to many contemporary crises that were escalated by the pandemic and far beyond. Themes of isolation, fear, race, and climate change, the inequities in response to COVID 19, police brutality, immigrant experience in America and more. From the many works selected by Deirdre Darden, they stand out for their beauty, content and material. Each work sparks a conversation, and at this time we are finally exchanging views globally while we share a global experience.

Displaced, Covid-19 (2020/2020) by Barbara IssaharyF.99 (FREE.99)

The Lockdown

In the last year, visual artist Barbara Issahary has been working on a series particularly relevant to COVID-19 and how it has involuntarily compelled us to re-evaluate the way we live our lives entirely. While global economies were struggling not to collapse during the pandemic, this figurative charcoal drawing comments on how children were struggling with it too. Struggling to live with normal activities virtually ceasing to exist. Issahary creates a void in the eyes of this child and a feeling of concern in this series that perhaps can be felt from the sidelines; as a part of yourself might have felt something similar to this during the global lockdown.

Home Alone, Seniors in Lockdown (2020/2020) by Barbara IssaharyF.99 (FREE.99)

In the midst of total shutdown, Issahary draws attention to how visiting family, friends and neighbors changed during the lockdown.

Issahary depicts an elderly woman living alone in this pastel on brown paper drawing.

Obscura (2020/2020) by Bruno AlencastroF.99 (FREE.99)

Bruno Alencastro creates visual narratives, by telling stories such as Felipe Martini and Rafaela di Giorgio, a couple who had to cancel their wedding plans due to COVID-19 and faced the reflection of the outside world from inside their home in São Paulo, Brazil.

Police arrest a demonstrator in a wheelchair (2020/2020) by Vardit GoldnerF.99 (FREE.99)

Migrant Victims

Vardit Goldner is a photography and video artist based in Israel, engaged in documenting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and in particular its effects on the daily life of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. This image is a visual representation of police arresting a demonstrator in a wheelchair. Unveiling the sad truth, abuse of power and excessive force inflicted on people by the Israeli military occupation. 

U.S. (Unwholesome Shelter) 「美」國 (2020/2020) by 江峰 Jiang FengF.99 (FREE.99)

Setting out to disrupt, artist Jiang Feng captures the unexamined truth of everyday discrimination that many racial-ethnic minorities experience in the U.S.

Déplacement (1999/1999) by Oroubah DiebF.99 (FREE.99)

Syrian artist, Oroubah Dieb takes collage and painting to represent women in exile and their emotional baggage. This is the invisible baggage of migration, a bag of human rubbish that stinks of survivors trauma, colonial privilege and children who want to return home.

No Country For Young Men 6 (2016/2017) by Tesfaye UrgessaF.99 (FREE.99)

No Country For Young Men

Tesfaye Urgessa is one of the most prominent contemporary artists from Ethiopia, focusing on social criticism and the politics of identity such as the ongoing immigration crisis. Urgessa joined 'Global Conversation' with a body of work that draws from an idiosyncratic style, influenced by Ethiopian traditional iconography and German Neo-Expressionism that always delivers a strong narrative. With 'No Country For Young Men' Urgessa creates a series to cope with the displacement of large populations, highlighting particularly young men who made up 86% of 56 million displaced people forced one way or another to migrate in search of a new life. 

No Country For Young Men 2 (2016/2016) by Tesfaye UrgessaF.99 (FREE.99)

One of three early paintings in the series for 'No Country For Young Men' where Urgessa painted from the bottom up from the feet, to the top of the crown, without knowing where it was going.

"In the beginning, I was seeing feet, many feet, many bare feet. They were moving in some kind of rhythm, like a marching orchestra". - Tesfaye Urgessa

No Country For Young Men 5, (2016/2017) by Tesfaye UrgessaF.99 (FREE.99)

On the whole, the series for ‘’No country for Young Men’’ reflects on how young men are denied a country where they can call home.

From a broader perspective, looking at both sides of the immigration crisis, all young people should not be bound by physical boundaries. Urgessa feels "any place, where their (young people) dream is, should be their country".

We Are Here (2019/2019) by Claudia Nki ZamberiaF.99 (FREE.99)

Claudia Nki Zamberia joins 'Global Conversation' with a follow up to her 1st round artwork "I'm Here' with "We are here" to highlight where we are with the current immigration crisis in Europe, from one child being all alone to groups of displaced children being separated from there parents and there childhoods gone.

We are here. We are these kids. Children migrating for different reasons when they shouldn't have to. This is the reality for thousands of migrant children floating across waters to flee persecution, war and violence, to reunite with their family abroad or in search of a new home.

Antártica Nocturna (2019/2019) by Liliana FoltaF.99 (FREE.99)

Emergency Call

The world is heating up. Concentrations of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, in the Earth’s atmosphere are causing the planet’s climate system to retain more energy. Liliana Folta's 'Antártica Nocturna' highlights and makes an emergency call to humanity to respond to global warming and the grim consequences we face if glaciers continue to melt. Communities will be displaced due to rising sea levels; changing our ecosystem and changing climate means changing habitats, threatening vulnerable species and overall life on Earth. The Argentinian visual artist, made this 15 piece acrylic, metallic candy paper and pigments on canvas paper artwork to indicate sea levels are rising and adding the black paint to symbolize the thermal expansion of the oceans and the melting of polar ice-caps and ice sheets. 

Cloud Burst (2017/2017) by Charmaine MawF.99 (FREE.99)

Artist Charmaine Maw works in glass and its translucent, fragile and ever changing quality. With "Cloud Burst" Maw stops time with it's beauty and challenges us to respond to global warming. A reflection through a 3D sculpture that is never the same, constantly changing when viewed from different angles such as the changes in the environment which are causing global warming.

Global Warming (2016/2016) by Aîa MarF.99 (FREE.99)

Artist, pro free diver and ecologist Aia Mar is devoted to the elements and biodiversity. She photographs Air, Earth, Fire & Water creating abstract images that become the canvas for surreal landscapes with endangered animals.

Global Warming II (2016/2016) by Aîa MarF.99 (FREE.99)

Aia Mar's 'Global Warming' series links directly to warming temperatures, particularly for the butterfly, who's life is an epic journey of transformation with the rhythms of nature, and a sensitivity to the climatic whims of shifting seasons. The fire depicted is necessitated by global warming, a conspicuously unnatural change in climate fueled by the heat of human activity.

Global Warming III (2016/2016) by Aîa MarF.99 (FREE.99)

Most butterflies possess an unusually heightened sensitivity to overly warm environments and if we cannot mitigate this issue our beautiful, flying friends will not exist, like the iconic western monarch butterfly's population which crashed to the tune of 99.9 percent. (National Geographic)

The Sacrifice (1989/1989) by Linda HackF.99 (FREE.99)

The Sacrifice

Surrealist artist Linda Hack is no stranger to widely varying reviews. Hack's controversial piece 'The Sacrifice' employs a giant panda model donated to her by the World Wildlife Fund with the knowledge that it would later be in an exhibit on the main floor of Central St. Martins. This expression caused evangelicals and critics to take cheap shots at Hack for her symbolic rendition of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, when her intention never seemed to occur to the critics, only their disapproval of depicting Gods or prophets instead of thinking of the unprecedented disregard to the threat of animal life and natures need for sustainability.

Logo n°1 (2019/2019) by Michele PauF.99 (FREE.99)

The whole world seems to be using social networking sites, but just how much time are we spending on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and what activities are we sacrificing in order to fulfill our appetite for online interaction?

What real life activities are we prepared to sacrifice to spend increasing amounts of time on social networking sites?

Social media is taking over our lives and we are not thinking about the lack of actions spent on mitigating the greatest threats to humanity.

The Gateway to Eternal Souls III Malcolm X Welcomes You (2020/2020) by Garry GrantF.99 (FREE.99)

In honoring Malcolm X's Sacrifice to the World we remember the unrelenting realism and understanding of a man who believed adamantly in the rights of not only his people, but people the world over. Garry Grant joins 'Global Conversation' with a focus on this and his abstraction. His work is inspired by the materials he employs and the use of color and texture. This tone of Grant’s work conveys a sense of rhythm; the form of expressive movement and most importantly remembrance, in this case Malcom X who sacrificed his life for what he believed in, for the people.

100 YEARS OF DECAY (2019/2019) by Maksim ShishovF.99 (FREE.99)

Artist Maksim Shishov sees art as a social and complex matter. With "100 YEARS OF DECAY" he makes use of a piece of gum glued to the filter of a cigarette, creating a metaphor for our unconscious reality, in which people ignore what cannot be ignored. When this triptych is blurred, this composition begins to resemble a "mushroom" arising from a nuclear explosion.

With this context of destruction, nuclear testing and human health, "100 YEARS OF DECAY" draws an analogy between the consequences of gum and cigarettes leading to tooth decay but also how soil after nuclear explosions causes radionuclides and soil degradation which disturbs our ecosystem.

We have a responsibility to stop, think and expose these types of things, and to challenge the narrow and immoral thinking of the past that allowed the sacrificing of humanity for human pursuits. This destroys our planet.

Tryptich 04 (2018/2021) by Aljohara JejeF.99 (FREE.99)

Female Genital Mutilation: how can we lessen misunderstandings of this sensitive subject?

Artist Aljohara Jeje invokes the book of words, for beyond words immediate denotations, there are connotative powers. For people with vaginas, orgasms commonly come from the clitoris. The removal of the clitoris, infibulation, is still practiced in various parts of the world.

The use of the pearls in the hands of a woman, correlate to pearls of wisdom. Pearls are as pure and innocent as the silenced, pure and innocent young women who undergo genital mutilation. Their clitoris, their pearl, is snatched and this triptych locks us in between two worlds, one mirroring the other and of babies to come.

Tryptich 01 (2018/2021) by Aljohara JejeF.99 (FREE.99)

Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

The practice has no health benefits for girls and women.

FGM can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.

More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated.

FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15.

FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Survival of the Cooperative (2020/2020) by Reyna DelcidF.99 (FREE.99)

Places such as the Caribbean, predominantly attract many tourists and first generation Salvadoran-American artist Reyna Delcid feels there is a desperate need to discuss the etiquette that should come with visiting and speaking on behalf of places that often do not have the platform to speak for themselves.

Take the small island of Islote, understanding how the people of Islote feel and the effects of pity and attention for their native innocence against giving the people recognition.

Delcid touches on an extremely important message with her photography series and that is how can we speak on behalf of people who are often misrepresented when there's media bias, no cooperation or a bridge of intercultural communication.

Speaking to people according to their level of understanding and NOT surreptitiously snapping photos of locals without their permission.

It starts with a conversation.

Trans-forma (2020/2020) by 06D AtelierF.99 (FREE.99)


The artist duo 06D Atelier started to work on this concept at the beginning of 2020 when the coronavirus was becoming a global pandemic. Trans-forma, an Italian compound word, meaning form in transition, was meant to give us a snapshot of a state change, as rebirth, a physical idea of a transformation in the process of becoming. Creating space for our transformation as human beings, they begun working through a “reverse process of construction”, starting from a perfect flat sheet of aluminium, working on a portion of the piece seeking an uncontrolled imperfection. Similarly to humans, as we share this imperfection and the sculptures capability of being reshaped. A rare quality to forge such a dynamic shape and concept, as the observers image is reflected in the mirroring part of the sculpture giving you the chance to meditate about the responsibility that we all have in our world's crises, to undergo a process able to reshape our wastes into completely new and valuable objects. 

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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