UN Volunteer takes part in art exhibition in Germany

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Two photographs by UN Volunteer Igor Rugwiza (Burundi), Public Information Officer with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti are featured in the art exhibition Arte Suste Mobile in Hamburg until 30 October 2013. The exhibition is an official project of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development that seeks to mobilize the educational resources of the world to create a more sustainable future. The theme for 2013 is sustainable traffic, mobility and transport.

Photograph of a Haitian tap-tap taken by UN Volunteer Igor Rugwiza and currently featured in the art exhibition Arte Suste Mobile in Hamburg, Germany. (Igor Rugwiza, 2013)

Two photographs by UN Volunteer Igor Rugwiza (Burundi), Public Information Officer with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) are featured in the art exhibition Arte Suste Mobile in Hamburg until 30 October 2013. The exhibition is an official project of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) that seeks to mobilize the educational resources of the world to create a more sustainable future. The theme for 2013 is sustainable traffic, mobility and transport.


The exhibition’s opening ceremony was held on 21 August in Hamburg in the presence of representatives of the Department for Urban Development and Environment of the City of Hamburg, among others.


The exhibition follows the definition of sustainable development by the United Nations Conferences on Environment and Development (Earth Summits) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and in Johannesburg in 2002. Every piece displayed at the exhibition relates to one aspect of this definition.


The two photographs by Igor represent Haitian “tap-tap” buses. Tap-taps are gaily painted buses or pick-up trucks that serve as share taxis in Haiti. Literally meaning “quick-quick”, these vehicles for hire are privately owned and beautifully decorated. They follow fixed routes, won’t leave until filled with passengers, and riders can disembark at any point in the journey. It is a typically Haitian form of art.


“Since the day I arrived in Haiti, tap-tap buses really caught my eye. The colours, the shapes and the messages written on them impressed me. As I was looking more closely, I even realized that each tap-tap has a name, somehow like paintings,” Igor says. Igor’s photos are the first pieces the visitors see when entering the exhibition hall.


“The exhibition makes sustainability a first-hand experience,” says Samuel J. Fleiner, curator of the exhibition. “We do not focus on problems but on good ideas and creative solutions. There is no innovation without inspiration.” According to him, “We can create a better world, just by really using creativity and good ideas.”


There are more than 170 pieces from 70 artist, designers and university research teams from 20 nations involved in the exhibition. With a focus on transportation, the exhibition presents art pieces made out of recycled materials or renewable resources such as algae, and engineering design projects such as solar cars, innovative bicycles or huge kite sails for cargo ships to minimize fuel emissions.


The organizers would like the exhibition to be shown during the 2014 World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development next year in Nagoya, Japan.


Read Igor Rugwiza’s article on tap-tap


Visit the exhibition website