Comunidades Arts and Culture
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Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture

The arts have a significant role to play in helping address global issues and, as such, need to be central when thinking about how people connect to one another, to communities, to people from other places to the past, present and the future. The arts are essential in helping people understand, negotiate and navigate their way through the challenges of the modern world, as well as to explore what divides people in a way that fosters understanding and cooperation.

Life is an ever-evolving process within which the arts hold a highly significant role stimulating society by translating experiences through space and time, influencing the opinions of people through visual and audio inspiration. The arts do not demonstrate for people what they should do; they instead propose alternatives. They reform by projecting a blend of imagination and reality that influences the way people think and live. The feelings and emotions the arts create spur thinking, engagement and, in some cases, action.

Joseph Fowler – Head of Arts & Culture

We believe that Arts and Culture can promote inclusive and sustainable cultural change. We do this by:

• Providing a diverse range of artists and cultural leaders unparalleled access to the Forum’s convening power, exposure and resources in support of their courage, innovation and narrative-shaping ability.

• Integrating culture into the major dialogues and Forum activities to reflect the true complexity of issues and ensure cultural change is within the fabric of any effort for progress.

The Forum opens its platform to artists, cultural leaders and cultural institutions to co-develop exhibitions, performances, experiences, and panels that have the power to advance inclusive and sustainable cultural change. In some cases, we commission and produce new work.

Opening Concert

The opening concert, entitled “I Sea You”, was a bold and powerful cultural message of unity and collaboration as well as a call to action to world leaders and policy-makers to implement the appropriate and required agreements to protect and preserve the coral reefs of the Northern Red Sea.

Imagen: World Economic Forum/Manuel Lopez

While rapid ocean warming poses a risk to the survival of coral reefs, a series of recent studies have revealed that corals in the Northern Red Sea – one of the longest living reefs in the world – are extremely resistant to rising water temperatures. The discovery means this major coral reef ecosystem has the best chances of survival until the end of the century and beyond. For this to come to fruition, the countries of the region must work together, in goodwill and in trust, overcoming obstacles and differences for the sake of protecting and preserving the reefs.

I Sea You featured exclusive performances by internationally acclaimed award-winning artists including singer, songwriter, composer and activist Noa, also known as Achinoam Nini, accompanied by her longstanding musical collaborator Gil Dor; Egyptian musicians Joseph and James Tawadros, Jordanian virtuoso Farah Siraj and Saudi Arabia’s first female technical diver, Nouf Alosaimi.

Imagen: World Economic Forum/Manuel Lopez
Imagen: World Economic Forum/Manuel Lopez
Imagen: World Economic Forum/Manuel Lopez

Performed by The Morphing Chamber Orchestra other featured musicians included guitarist, composer and producer Andreas Arnold and pianist, composer and arranger Tim Allhoff.

The concert included a specially created immersive backdrop featuring footage of the Red Sea corals filmed by environmentalist and deep-sea diver Nouf Alosaimi as well as imagery provided by Coral Morphologic.


36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy, an extremely destructive Atlantic storm, devastated New York, its suburbs and Long Island. Over the course of 48 hours, wind, rain, and water destroyed approximately 300 homes, left hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers without power, damaged critical public and private infrastructure, and left many New Yorkers vulnerable with limited access to food, drinking water, healthcare, and other critical services

The storm resulted in the deaths of 44 City residents and inflicted an estimated $19 billion in damages and lost economic activity across the New York City. Most significantly, over 69,000 residential units were damaged, and thousands of New Yorkers were temporarily displaced.

Prompted by Hurricane Sandy, this multifaceted unique artwork was created by interdisciplinary visual performance artist Sarah Cameron Sunde after experiencing Hurricane Sandy first-hand, in her hometown New York and is an investigation of individual and collective vulnerability and resilience.

36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea combines formal aesthetics of Land Art on a monumental scale, Performance Art on an individual body scale, and Video Art on a digital scale with Socially Engaged Practice as it relates to contemporary environmental concerns

36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea consists originally of Sarah standing for an entire tide cycle in seawater, feeling the water rise and fall on her body. The full tide cycle takes up to 13 hours and the seawater comes up as far as Sarah’s neck. She invites local people to join her for some or all of the experience, or to observe from the shore. She has taken this work, spanning almost a decade, through six continents – from Mexico and Bangladesh to Kenya and New Zealand – culminating in a final performance on the Hudson River in New York in September 2022.

Sarah Cameron Sunde, Interdisciplinary Artist, USA, speaking in the Meet The Artist – Sarah Cameron Sunde – Exhibition: 36.5  session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 19 January. Congress Centre. Copyright: World Economic Forum/Mattias Nutt
Imagen: World Economic Forum / Mattias N

The surface simplicity of the work belies the complexity of its theoretical, aesthetic and political potential. 36.5 offers an opportunity to approach questions of art, performance and of the human place in nature from a variety of discursive and disciplinary perspectives: feminism, eco-theory, theories of space, embodiment, and affect, questions of resilience, histories of performance, art history, as well as questions of transnational art activism and modes of fostering eco-spheric consciousness.” - Una Chaudhuri, Eco-critic, Professor, Dean for the Humanities at NYU

Artificial Realities: CORAL

As one of the foremost practitioners of what he calls “data painting”, the Turkish-American media artist Refik Anadol is a pioneer in the aesthetics of machine learning. His works explore the space between digital and physical entities by creating a hybrid relationship between architecture and media arts with machine intelligence. Refik is the recipient of the prestigious Lumen Prize and has had his work featured at the Venice Architecture Biennale and in shows at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and most recently at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Imagen: World Economic Forum/ Greg Beadl

Inspired by the ocean environment and in particular the plight of the coral reefs, this new site-specific piece was created by Anadol specially and was unveiled at the 2023 Annual Meeting in Davos.

Refik Anadol, Media Artist and Director, Refik Anadol Studio, USA speaking in the
Impressions from the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 16 January 2023. Copyright: World Economic Forum/Michael CalabroSession ID: a0W68000000hPVe

Artificial Realities: Coral is a large data sculpture using approximately 1 billion images of corals that have been processed with machine-learning classification models. Combining science, technology and visual arts, this exciting work focuses on the preservation and sustainability of corals. It connects a digital ecosystem of data and a landscape that is home to many living ecosystems with the aim of using the potential of both the metaverse and blockchain economies to alleviate global climate change issues.

The Only Woman in the Room featuring images from the book The Only Women (Phaidon) by Immy Humes

Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/Shutterstock (6599993a)GRAHAM This is a 1975 photo of Katharine Graham, first woman elected to the Associated Press' board of directors, who is seated at left during a board meeting in New York CityKATHARINE GRAHAM, NEW YORK, USA
Imagen: AP/Shutterstock
Immy Humes, Writer and Documentary Filmmaker, speaking during the Cultural Leaders as a Catalyst of Change with Immy Humes session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 18 January. Congress Centre - Fusion. Copyright: World Economic Forum/Valeriano Di Domenico

This specially curated photo exhibition features over 25 images taken from the bestselling book The Only Woman by Oscar nominated documentary filmmaker, producer and author Immy Humes

The exhibition was an original approach to gender equality featuring striking pictorial statements, each bringing to light the compelling and undeniable phenomenon of ‘the only woman’: across time and cultures, from countries including the USA and the UK, France, Peru, Mexico, India, China, Japan, and Australia.

(Original Caption) Miami Beach: Together before appearing on Meet the Press are Democratic presidential nomination candidates (left to right, top row) Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.); Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota; Sen. Edmund Muskie of Maine; (left to right, bottom) Sen. Henry Jackson of Washington; and Rep. Shirley Chisholm of New York.
Imagen: Bettmann Archive

Featuring both unknown and well-known women from a diverse range of backgrounds, Immy Humes reveals and reframes how women and men have related socially in surprising and poignant ways. Capturing moments along a wide, slow current of change, each image offers forensic evidence of patriarchy on parade, along with all the other forces of domination.

The Only Woman is a fresh contribution to visual and cultural history full of unheard stories, courage, achievement, outrage, mystery, fun, and above all, extraordinary women.

The Colour of Resilience

According to the UNHCR “at least 103 million people around the world are forcibly displaced, 4.9 million are asylum seekers and 32.5 million are refugees – more than at any time in documented history.” Over half of the world’s refugees are children. Many will spend their entire childhoods away from home, sometimes separated from their families. The exposure to conflict, violence, displacement, gender inequality, to name a few, leads to long-term effects and barriers to successful transitions to adulthood.

Children are incredibly resilient and through learning, playing and exploring their creative skills, they can find ways to cope, drawing strength from their friends, families and communities.

Creative education can provide a framework which enables a child to reimagine who they could be and how they can change their world. It helps to articulate trauma and express emotion, hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Artolution, a global community-based public art and education non-profit organization, has over the past 14 years been activating positive social change through creative, participatory and collaborative art-making around the world.

Max Frieder, Co-Founder, Chief Creative Officer, Artolution, USA, speaking at the Cultural Leaders as a Catalyst of Change with Max Frieder session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 17 January. Congress Centre - Fusion. Copyright: World Economic Forum/Ciaran McCrickard

In collaboration with Artolution, the Forum commissioned a large-scale mural entitled, The Colour of Resilience. Throughout the creative process, Artolution led four separate groups of refugee youth currently living in the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan, the Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement in Uganda, the Rohingya Refugee Camp in Bangladesh and Venezuelan refugee and internally displaced communities in Colombia. Each group designed and painted a large-scale piece of art. Each artwork visually captures the story of the global human displacement crisis and statelessness, shared through the participants’ personal life experiences, stories and aspirations.

This large-scale work is the first collaborative, transcultural and internationally made public art from crisis contexts around the world. It is a celebration of resilience and each individual section is a physical artefact that represents the community where it was created and a way forward through one of the most pressing challenges of our time.

The Global Collaboration Village

Officially launched at the Annual Meeting 2022 in May, the Global Collaboration Village has already secured over 75 leading organizations as founding members. It continues to attract and bring together key global stakeholders – international organizations, governments, partner companies, civil society organizations and arts organizations – to imagine alternative futures, explore ideas in an immersive way and envision a future world.

As we explore and discover the endless scope of opportunity the metaverse presents, we will be showcasing an exclusive cultural event as an integral part of the Annual Meeting 2023 Global Collaboration Village experience.

Combining music, song, dance and visual art, the event is designed to showcase cutting-edge technology while inviting partners and participants to imagine new horizons of creativity to co-create and showcase their work within the Global Collaboration Village.

The Crystal Awards

The Crystal Awards honour exceptional artists and cultural leaders whose important contributions are improving the state of the world and who best represent the “spirit of Davos”.

At the 2023 Annual meeting in Davos, we celebrate the enduring contributions to society of exceptional artists. The cultural leaders receiving the Crystal Award are bridge-builders. They connect us to each other; they help us reflect on the human condition and they provide visions of the world that can cut through the limitations of short-term or linear thinking.

On the occasion of the 29th Annual Crystal Award, Hilde Schwab, Chair of the World Arts Forum, presents the Crystal Award to Maya Lin, world-renowned architect, environmental activist and one of the most important public artists of this century; Renée Fleming, one of the most acclaimed sopranos of our time and advocate for research at the intersection of arts, health and neuroscience; and Idris Elba, actor, filmmaker and humanitarian, and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, for their commitment and leadership in addressing food security, climate change and environmental conservation.

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