Championing the United Nation’s SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals!
The United Nation’s SDGs are a blueprint for a more sustainable and equitable future and “interconnect and in order to leave no one behind.” Through my advocacy for the UN and as an artist, I’m working to further the goals of quality education, industry, innovation and infrastructure and sustainable cities and communities.
On International Artists Day, I’m sharing how I turn art into a way to advocate, uplift and empower women and girls through creating economic opportunities using their talents and traditions. Art not only reflects our world, it transforms it and is vital to creating color in our lives. An ever-growing tapestry of experiences and cultures, art inspires and motivates us.
When I was in India to further my work as a UN Women advocate, in a hotel in Agra overlooking the Taj Mahal, as sunlight was streaming in, I observed the soft textile fabrics lining the hotel walls alongside gilded mirrors and glittering glass baubles hanging from ceilings. They were designed and painted by rural Indian women with my foundation ShePower, a global organization I founded in partnership with MetoWe to empower and uplift girls globally, their handiwork a mix of hand done tradition and modern innovation allowing them to support themselves and their families. Cultural designs of families linking hands fused with intricate patterns and peacock plume curlicues.
Throughout my own art, I spotlight diverse subjects and art has taught me how to push boundaries constantly, be innovative and adapt to new methods. Supporting artists in turn supports communities and creative expression. Whether to document history or to amend it, such as through the work of Tithus Kaphar which reveals new facets and figures and shows history through the perspective of marginalized people, art can challenge our views and transform our world.
And alleviating poverty, supporting global communities, and creating sustainability is directly aided by providing girls and young women with resources and education. When we empower women and girls who are capable and eager to maximize opportunities, we empower and uplift communities. Effecting change globally and achieving this dream has always been the crux of my ambition.