“United Nations”

American artist Taryn Simon shows at the United Nations

The talented Taryn Simon, represented in the United States by Gagosian, is showing work at the United Nations in New York. Large-format photographs from the American artist’s series, Paperwork and the Will of Capital, will be on view until 25 September, referring to political agreements, contracts, treaties and decrees having an impact on government and economic systems. The exhibition coincides with the next United Nations general...

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Global warming threatens heritage

A report published by the United Nations on 27 May 2016 lists 31 natural and cultural sites in 29 countries as being threatened by global warming. Amongst the 1,031 World Heritage sites, around thirty are said to be directly threatened in the short term by global warming. The report World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate, drafted by UNEP, UNESCO and UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists), takes into consideration the impact of a general rise in temperatures, the melting of glaciers, the increase in sea levels, and the recurrence of natural disasters in certain regions of the world. Some threatened sites include Venice, Stonehenge, the Galapagos Islands or the Statue of Liberty. The report aims at raising awareness on the weakening of our heritage and our responsibility towards it. The tourism sector is called to coordinate its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and the impact of its activity on fragile sites. Following the Paris agreements in the wake of the COP21, this study reminds of the urgency to raise international consciousness about the threats overhanging world...

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Italian Government sends Blue Helmet Troops to guard heritage sites from Islamist Extremists

On 24 October 2015, Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini announced the approval of the deployment of Blue Helmet Troops to guard heritage sites from around the world from Islamist extremists. According to a recently-published study led by researchers at Dartmouth University, as well as ISIS, Kurdish forces and Syrian authorities may also be responsible for the looting and destruction of cultural heritage sites in Syria. This study is based on an analysis of satellite imagery of roughly 1,300 Syrian archaeological sites complied by Digital Globe from 2007 to the present compared with older images. “Instances of severe, state-sanctioned looting are occurring in both ISIS-held and Syrian regime areas,” said anthropology professor Jesse Casana who led the study. Due to this continuous destruction, the Italian government has put forward the protective measure of United Nations peacekeepers, known colloquially as Blue Helmets. “Faced with [ISIS] terrorist attacks and the terrible images of Palmyra, the international community cannot stand back and watch,” said Franceshini. 53 countries voted in favour of this measure to protect threatened cultural sites, which includes the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra which has been under sustained attack by Islamic State since May 2015. The Blue Helmets are known for their distinctive light blue headgear and have learnt a lot from Italy’s experience in heritage protection and enforcement, acquired from training missions around the...

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The People’s United Nations (pUN) at the Queens Museum

New York, 8 November 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Queens Museum is to host “The People’s United Nations” (pUN), an event which is to run alongside an ongoing exhibition devoted to works by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes. pUN is to take place on 23 and 24 November 2013, whilst the exhibition of works by Pedro Reyes – currently on display in the museum – is to run until 30 March 2014. The People’s United Nations pays tribute to the UN, bringing together 193 New-York immigrants who have family ties with on of the UN’s 193 member states. Over two days, Queens Museum is to offer group therapy sessions, theatre and discussions, with participants encouraged to immerse themselves in fun, international dialogues, which nevertheless explore important...

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Alexia Webster’s depictions of poverty win first Artraker Prize

London, 2 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Alexia Webster has been named the winner of the inaugural Artraker Prize – the first award to recognise works of art on the subject of conflict. Webster received the award for her photographic depictions of South Africans living in poverty on the outskirts of cities including Cape Town and Johannesburg. Describing her method, Webster said “I set up an outdoor photographic studio on a street corner with a portable photo printer. We invited anyone who wanted to sit and pose for free, and then we gave them the photograph”. The artist received an award of £2,500 on 21 September, with the prize held on the United Nations International Day of Peace. The artist’s entry was selected from 300 entries from 90 countries, with other shortlisted artists having worked in Colombia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Syria. The prize was founded in 2012 by Indian-born graphic-designer and artist Manali Jagtap-Nyheim through her business International Conflict and Security...

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