Being a global citizen means an awareness and care for issues and being able to see wider implications for everyone, as well as different points of view. In terms of my project, the purpose is to make people aware of the effects of their own small, seemingly insignificant actions on the lives of others.
Wealthy nations need to curb the amount of food being wasted after production – within supermarkets and in the home. We need to be able to feed 9 billion people by 2050 and this will be possible if we can curb waste at all points in the production process. GMOs cannot fix all of our problems and theres a simpler fix. At the moment, around 25-50% of all food is wasted, globally. We do not need to produce more, but waste less to feed more.
Why do we have such an imbalance? US imports 400% of necessary amount of food and wastes around 30-40% of that, while 795 million people remain hungry.
Use of sculpture – makes the audience think about symbolism of objects within the piece. Use Michael parekowhai as an example – ambiguous and grand approach to which the viewer brings their own experiences and eyes. Makes people think.
We produce enough food calories to feed every single person on this earth (MIT). Yet, 795 million people do not have enough food (World Food Programme), because so much is wasted. In New Zealand we throw away enough food annually to feed Dunedin for 2 years (Love Food Hate Waste NZ). This is a common trend in wealthy countries, and globally between 25-50% of all food is wasted (MIT). The waste goes further than just the food; in each bite is the labour, land, water and CO2 emissions associated with growing and throwing away that food. 9 Billion people are expected to inhabit this earth by 2050 (MIT), while the distribution of farmable land is expected to drop significantly around Africa, India, Australia and the Caribbean (F.A.O 10). Climate change will create a future where croppable land is lessened, livestock mortality rates increase, droughts are rampant and water is scarce (F.A.O. 10). Food security will suffer, particularly in underdeveloped nations. Reducing world hunger in the coming years is going to require us to reduce consumption and waste.
My work essentially focuses on the imbalance of food distribution in the world, and the unnecessary wastage by wealthy countries that can be easily fixed. The concept of the sculpture is based upon the Statue of Liberty; it mimics the upholding of certain values, but replaces the upholding of liberty with the control of food and resources. The figure is representative of wealthy nations. I also looked at Michael Parekowhai’s work, Te Ao Hurihuri, as an example of how sculpture can work symbolically. By using the elephant as a symbol, it creates an ambiguity in the work and allows the viewer to bring their own assumptions to the symbols, and then have to question those against what the work is saying. I used this idea in my own work through the use of cows to represent food and the immense resources behind it; the meat and dairy industry has become a symbol for the West’s food and resource control since documentaries like Cowspiracy (2014) revealed the water, land and carbon footprint behind beef and dairy. The other hand, holding water, represents the interconnected nature of food waste and water waste, and the importance of curbing this waste as climate change approaches and the potential for drought increases. With this work I aimed to make people see and think on their own terms – to bring their own thoughts to what was in front of them and have to read and think about the work and what it represents and sculpture was a good way to do this. It also gives a material, tangible front to an issue people often ignore; it forces them to confront it.
This project has a purpose; being a global citizen (Mirzoeff 289), means we must find ways to represent ourselves (Mirzoeff 293). It means being aware of our own world, of many points of view, and being able to represent our values. This often occurs through ‘visual activism’ (Mirzoeff 289), and uses a growing visual culture to incite change. In a world where most are connected it is hard to distance yourself from others. Working to see the world differently, and change the world is key to being a global citizen, and making sure the world is being represented and changed the way we want it to be.
Mission 2014: Feeding the World. Inadequate Food Distribution Systems. Michigan Institute of Technology (MIT) 2014. Web 23/05/2016.
WFP. Hunger Statistics. World Food Programme, 2016. Web.
Food Waste. Love Food Hate Waste NZ 2016. Website.
FAO. Coping with climate change – the roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture. Rome 2015. Web 19/05/2016.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Afterword”. How to See the World. London, Pelican 2015. 289-298. Print.
“For many artists, academics and others who see themselves as visual activists, visual culture is a way to forms of change.” (289) – There is an increasing trend towards activism employing visual culture to incite change.
“What does it mean to be seen to be a citizen in this global era? Who represents us at local and national levels in a globalized society?” (290)
“How do we represent ourselves, visually and politically?” (291). – Simultaneously, revolutions began around representation visually, in the media and entertainment industries, and politically, as the world globalized.
“For what has become clear is that the implication of ‘they do not represent us’ (in all senses of that term) is that we must find ways to represent ourselves. Visual activism, from the selfie to the projection of a new concept of the ‘people’, and the necessity of seeing the Anthropocene, is now engaged in trying to make that change.” (293). – Being a global citizen, then, is being able to represent yourself, stand up for what you believe, and take action against goveernments and actions that ‘do not represent us’. It is having an awareness about the world, and the knowledge to do something about it or recognize other peoples’ actions.
“Grace Lee Boggs begins every meeting with a question: ‘What time is it on the clock of the world?’.” (293) – The need to think globally and account for all people. Particularly important considering my issue – food waste does not just effect yourself, but everyone. When that food could be used for someone else, or the land for cows could feed locals. It’s about realising the supply chain and the resources and labour and true cost of the food we eat.
“Visionary organizing is a way of thinking about how we might use our creative energies to better ends than cutting jobs and increasing profits. It is another form of visual activism. People around the world are coming to similar conclusions and finding new ways to engage with how to imagine change.” (295)
“We can actively use visual culture to create new self-images, new ways to see and be seen, and new ways to see the world.”
Michael Parekowhai, in his work, Te Ao Hurihuri employs sculpture to symbolise a concept and make the viewer think about something. He uses object/subject, the elephant as a symbol in itself, as well as its positioning, colour, title. Elephants are often used a symbol for colonization, a work animal, or else commonly known by the idiom “the elephant in the room”. By using a symbol, like the elephant or the book end, Parekowhai shows the viewer something that they can bring their own interpretation to the work, and rather than telling the viewer what to think, the viewer is made to think for themselves and question what they would normally assume about a work, or an idea within society. The title as well places an idea in the readers mind; Te Ao Hurihuri refers to the idea that the world turns slowly. We get a feeling that the world has been tipped on its head, which leads to conotations of the changing world, and globalization. I think sculpture is a good way to express a concept, and get people thinking, rather than just giving them the facts. Displaying it in a gallery has good and bad consequences, though. The audience at galleries is select, and so the work is not understandable or accessible to everyone, but it gives the work a feeling of grandness, and of importance. The subject/issue should speak to the intended audience.