What objectives are you pursuing with AQUA?
AQUA is a travelling exhibition. After Geneva it will show in São Paulo and then move on to further continents in 2018. The exhibition is intended to sensitise people about the concept of interdependence, which is of immense importance for the environment and the future of our planet. AQUA demonstrates that within our society, every person shares responsibility for water.
Human actions have a direct impact on natural resources and on animals and plants. Issues such as the exploitation of nature, climate change, animal species threatened with extinction or the survival of flora and fauna in the wake of urbanisation demand that we question the relationship between humans and other forms of life.
Water is vital for all life. Given the multitude of burning issues, it is clear that water has become one of the biggest global challenges today. Issues currently on the table are: to whom does water belong and is water a private or a public good?
How can art influence politics?
Art can influence politics only to a limited extent, but it does have the ability to shake people up. Consequently, apart from this exhibition, various parallel events will be organised in 2017-2018, such as guided tours, educational activities, film screenings and artist workshops. The objective is to reach out to as many people as possible and make them aware that water is a key element for sustainable development, for conserving the environment and for eradicating poverty and hunger.
How important is the SDC’s support for ART for The World and the exhibition?
The support extended by the SDC is part of its long-standing cooperation with ART for The World. We had already worked closely with the SDC on The Edge of Awareness exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of the World Health Organization. This exhibition was held on four continents between 1998 and 1999, in Switzerland, the United States, Brazil, India and Italy.
Under our Playgrounds & Toys programme for refugee children, in which artists participate in creating playgrounds for disadvantaged children, the SDC supported the building of several children’s playgrounds in India and Armenia between 2002 and 2004.
The SDC’s renewed support to ART for The World and artists at AQUA demonstrates its strong commitment to art and culture as an important medium for sensitising the public at large to sustainable development.