How do we see our region as a whole, understand our development challenges the differences and subtleties of our culture, cross our barriers and appreciate what makes us a vibrant and different continent?
To respond to our most difficult challenges, academics, historians, politicians and even lobbyists have tried to understand and decipher what unites us and what separates us.
Traditional methods such as presentations, studies and research have not been enough to capture the essence of our region.
Even we, Latin Americans, sometimes find it hard to understand and support our differences and commonalities.
However, art breaks all barriers. Art is a tool that can help visualize Latin America and the Caribbean as a diverse, innovative, egalitarian, environmentally safe and globalized region.
Moreover, art is an instrument that today serves to anticipate, and mold our perspective. It has the potential to influence our conceptions and inspire change. The lens of the artists is always creative and can helps us imagine innovative and different solutions for our challenges.
As the Greek curator and writer, Katerina Gregos said in her TED talk, “art has the subtle power to change the world one perception at a time.”
That is why the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is preparing an international itinerant art facility called Sidewalk of the Americas, where artists from all IDB member countries will have the opportunity to show artworks reflecting an inclusive region where economic growth, gender equality, environmental sustainability and justice is a possibility.
Six proposals from each country will be assembled to create a public art installation that will include more than 150 artworks where visitors will be able to metaphorically walk from Canada to Argentina, passing through the Caribbean. People will be able to view snapshots of contemporary artworks from across the hemisphere.
The installation aims to provoke interested audiences to think of a more dynamic, united region. A region that will bet on disruptive change.
The exhibition will be shown in different countries to generate conversations about the role of art and creativity in development.
The call is for artists who want to provoke, innovate and offer new perspectives on the development challenges of the region, as well as demonstrate the immense artistic creativity of Latin America.