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Development through creative industry

The Fundación CA artists, and the Guatemalan UNV volunteers who worked on the digital display that will be shown at the Shanghai 2010 Expo until October. (Eny Rolando Hernández)The Fundación CA artists, and the Guatemalan UNV volunteers who worked on the digital display that will be shown at the Shanghai 2010 Expo until October. (Eny Rolando Hernández)
30 June 2010

Shanghai, China: Communicating the importance of the creative sectors for economic and social development is the objective of the digital display created by a group of 14 Guatemalan UNV volunteer artists. Shown at the United Nations pavilion of the Shanghai 2010 Expo, this multimedia display aims to make the visitor reflect on ways in which the creative industries can contribute to building peace and development.

This work is part of the project "Corredor creativo" (Creative Corridor) , developed by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Guatemala, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and its special Unit for South-South cooperation, and the Fundación CA creative studio.

Natalia Armstrong, UNV Programme Officer in Guatemala, explains that this project "has allowed the artists' talent to be presented internationally through this digital volunteering contribution, and is also a tool for reflection about how peace and development can be advanced through art".

UNDP and UN-Habitat, the two agencies coordinating the United Nations pavilion, decided to touch on the theme of creative sectors in order to raise awareness about how it can help find solutions to some of the problems communities face in developing countries.

Tatiana Solís, a UNV volunteer who worked as producer of the works of the 13 UNV volunteer artists, says that the challenge was to express, through images, the impact that the different creative industries - architecture, fashion, music, video games, handicraft, etc. - can have on a country's economy.

"The creative sectors are not considered an important source of income for the country's economy. This project aims to show that they do represent a significant source of wealth. In Guatemala, for example, they account for seven percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product," says Tatiana.

Carlos Argüello, Director of the Fundación CA creative studio, where the volunteer artists carried out their work, thinks this volunteer project is more than an opportunity for Guatemala's talent to be showcased abroad. According to him, "one of the biggest challenges is to change the image that people have of artists, and for people to realise that we also contribute to development".

Natalia Armstrong says that "Guatemala was selected because it already has internationally recognised talent, but also because it was one of the first Central American countries to carry out a study on the impact that the creative industries have on the economy."

The digital works of the 14 national UNV volunteers can be seen from May to October in the United Nations pavilion of the Shanghai 2010 Expo.

UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)