Antwerp Management School – one of the leading business schools in Europe – asked me to make an artwork for one of their classrooms. The classroom where the “3 Continent Masters of Global Management” have their courses was already completely restyled during the summer. For this classroom they were looking for a piece of art that would inspire the students and had to represent the young and international character of the business school. The theme for the artwork was “Global Citizenship”, as this is one of the pillars of Antwerp Management School.
“As a result of living in a globalized world we see we have an added layer of responsibility. We also are responsible for being members of a world community faced with problems that no single country by itself can solve. The major challenge that we have is to build a sustainable values-based world community that can solve the global issues we all face.
What might our community’s values be ? They are the values that world leaders have been advocating for the past 75 years, including human rights, religious pluralism, gender equity, environmental protection, sustainable development, pverty alleviation, the prevention and cessation of conflicts between countries, the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, humanitarian assistance and the preservation and celebration of cultural diversity.” source “Global Citizen Initiative”.
I knew I had to design artwork that needed to be impressive and occupy the vast space. The place set aside for the artwork was the wall above the entrance door. Therefore, a long narrow piece of art (14m x 1,25m), would fit snugly and which could be felt in the entire room
The work has become a “collage”: the background of the artwork is a world map made up of old stamps of traveling passports. This should make us feel that it is about our planet. The stamps refer to the national way of thinking, not global.
The “degradé” on the background shows the viewer that the usage of those stamps is in the past and that we should move towards a global citizenship.
In the foreground you can see clips taken from passports from different countries. This tells the viewer that we are still part of a country, culture, race, and religion, which is important because it gives meaning to our existence, and will shape us further. The land-stamps, however, have been removed because we need to think more globally.
I have chosen images from passports that represent nature. Because nature is our most important asset we have on our planet. Other images feel more spiritual, as spirituality should help us in our path to Global Citizenship, and in the pursuit of its values.
The clips taken from the passports have been spaced throughout the artwork and are placed in globes and spheres. This gives the idea of planets in the universe.
Can you identify the origin of the passports? From left to right: Macao, Turkey, Mexico, China, Tajikistan, Thailand, Norway, US, Belgium and UK.