Art Stands With Refugees - Art Basel x UNHCR initiative
Posted on June 14 2019
Each year Art Basel, the premier art show of Europe offers a great platform for renowned artists and their works.
UNHCR's MADE51 supports social enterprises which create livelihoods for refugees. Refugees who harness artisanal skills, often passed down from generation to generation, can become leaders in their communities, create their own businesses, build infrastructure, or become artists and this way spread hope, beauty, and awareness.
Many artists who were once refugees, supported by other acclaimed artists have donated their works for "Art Stands With Refugees".
Liveauctioneers.com will manage an auction of artworks until Sunday 20th June and all proceeds will go to MADE51: a unison of brands working with and supporting artists who are refugees. SEP Jordan is one of their partners.
Please take the time to check out the online auction and learn more about the opportunity below.
Some of the artists who donated their artwork to support MADE51 were in Basel, to share their stories and emotions with the audience. The photo above includes, from left to right: Natalia Sierra, Emmanuel Jambo, Emi Mahmoud (UNHCR Ambassador from Sudan: her contribution was a breath-taking live performance of her poetry), Allam Fakhour, and Tania Bruguera.
Let's take a closer look at some of the artists and at their artwork which is up for grabs online:
“Natalia Sierra and her family had to flee Colombia in 2016 and seek asylum in Switzerland on account of her mother's legal work as a human rights lawyer who advocated for the rights of families displaced by the Colombian armed conflict. Already active as a documentary filmmaker in Colombia, Natalia immediately initiated integration programs for asylum-seekers in the shelters she lived in. Since 2017, she continues developing her artistic skills in Switzerland to the Programme of the Zurich University of the Arts “Access for Refugees”, developed for refugees in Switzerland who want to pursue an artistic career. She now lives in Zurich where she studies in the MAS Art & Society, co-creates art and design inclusive programs with the Association Architecture for Refugees and develops her own Start up through Capacity Zurich. Her asylum request is still under examination.”
“ Emmanuel Jambo was born in Sudan, nurtured in Egypt and the US and refined in Kenya. Graduated from Harold Washington College in Chicago. Emmanuel is an urbane, creative artist, undefined by boundaries. He is the recognizable face of fashion, commercial and wedding photography in Kenya and beyond.
Emmanuel’s expertise ranges across the board between photography and cinematography. His work has captured the runways of London Fashion Week… He is a visual author, and the master of editorials working with top-selling magazines, having worked with renowned Kenyan and international artists. He has been recognized by Forbes Africa Magazine as one of the top photographers in the region. In addition, Emmanuel is the official photographer for President Uhuru Kenyatta...”
“Allam Fakhour is a Syrian artist who could find refuge in Switzerland with his wife thanks to the Swiss resettlement program. Fakhour is a human rights activist. In 2006, he was convicted as a 28-year-old in Syria, along with seven other activists, and was imprisoned for five years in the notorious Saidnaya Prison near Damascus. Amnesty International had called for appeals to the Syrian authorities and for the release of the group. In 2011, Fakhour was released, in that year began a popular uprising, which eventually developed into civil war due to the state repression…”
“Tania Bruguera was born in 1968 in Havana, Cuba. Bruguera, a politically motivated performance artist, explores the relationship between art, activism, and social change in works that examine the social effects of political and economic power. By creating proposals and aesthetic models for others to use and adapt, she defines herself as an initiator rather than an author, and often collaborates with multiple institutions as well as many individuals so that the full realization of her artwork occurs when others adopt and perpetuate it…
Bruguera has explored both the promise and failings of the Cuban Revolution in performances that provoke viewers to consider the political realities masked by government propaganda and mass-media interpretation. Advancing the concept of "arte útil" (literally, useful art; art as a benefit and a tool), she proposes solutions to sociopolitical problems through the implementation of art, and has developed long-term projects that include a community center and a political party for immigrants, and a school for behavior art…”
Discover more artists and purchase the original artworks on Live Auctioneers until June 20, 2019. Your solidarity will show the world that refugees if given the right, can create things of beauty, and contribute to their communities.
Emi Mahmoud is a UNHCR Goodwill ambassador and poet who performed for the public at the Basel event on June 12th: she sent a chill down everyones' spine and we want to share with you her amazing poem, which she shared with us: