viernes, 20 de mayo de 2011

As close as I will ever get to becoming an artist.

My politics class has been working for the past two months on a project that's part of a global art movement of graffiti to raise cultural awareness worldwide.  I have had to keep it a secret this whole process because, well, it sounds worse than it is until I explain it...

TED is a nonprofit organization that gives grants and awards to inspirational people in the realms of art, sciences, etc worldwide.  Every year they hold a global competition for inspirational projects, and this is from their website: TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TED programs, and the annual TED Prize.

The TED prize is awarded every year to an inspirational individual who receives $100,000 to pursue their "one wish to change the world".  The man who won in 2011 is named JR, and his project is called "the inside out project".  It is a global art movement that is designed to raise the global awareness of other cultures and create a new sense of global community.  He gave a really inspiring speech at this years awards ceremony that yall really should watch when you get a chance, it's so inspiring.  The link for it is here:  His idea is that every community in the world, the impoverished ones and the developed ones, could participate in this same project through a website he set up thanks to the money that he won from the TED prize.

In February our professor gave us (my class and the other class) the option of joining him in a technically illegal, yet not dangerous or bad for society, activity that would possibly have an impact on our community, and set up a meeting to tell us what it was.  We decided collectively to participate in JR's project here in Alicante by pasting black and white pictures of our faces, blown up, on the smaller castle near Luceros, where there is already a lot of graffiti.  Our point was to try to inspire people in Alicante to explore themselves, as well as to create a sense of community, or at least just make people think.  We went up to the castle at midnight last night, dressed in all black, with all of our gear (there are 9 of us, plus two of our professors' friends from France and Spain who documented everything last night and will be sending us more professional pictures), and put up our faces on the castle (note: no names or identification of any kind are being used, and these pictures are not on any social networking site).

Our professor released a press release of some kind and video with a mission statement to the media of Alicante today...  The video can be found here and our core sort of slogan is "ven a saber", which means, come to know.  Everything in our "mission statement" is in Spanish, but here is the English version of what it says in Spanish:

"Realize, understand what makes you, you. Do you know who you are? Who you want to be?  We are going beyond the limits, without expectations, to a place where what society thinks of us no longer matters.  In uncertainty we have evolved, discovered, and come to know ourselves as individuals. This is our statement. Make yours."

I just got back from running to the castle and took these pictures of what we did yesterday...there will be better ones when the friends of Jaime's send us the pictures.  These were from my phone so they are really grainy.  It's also hard to get an idea of the scale of the pictures from here- they're like at least 3 feet tall.

**In the email that I sent to my parents, I explained that we were waiting for the reaction from the local art community/press in the aftermath of our project.  Now, three weeks later, I can equate our message to the sound the proverbial tree makes when it falls in a forest when no one is around. In other words, no one really cares.  Still though, you win some you lose some, and I got to wear all black without looking like a punk, angsty teen who shops at Hot Topic**

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