Ross School - Senior Projects 2010
Mentor: Jennifer Cross
I created a project based on the issue of global hunger using Haiti, Zimbabwe and Malawi as case studies. Each of these countries has identical scenarios to the food shortages that are common among other “third world” countries. My product is an exhibition of stencil artworks and a graphic magazine of textiles, stencils and photography that contain stories about hunger, interviews with people who work on the issue, photos, and original collages. I wanted to find out about the causes of world hunger and explore the possible solutions. My hope is to spread awareness and inform people about the issue that greatly affects this world.
My senior project is an installation of the theme of world hunger. I chose to focus on the issue of hunger because of my interest in human rights and international affairs. I knew from the beginning, that I wanted to do a project that would spread some kind awareness and inform others about an issue that is very valuable to our generation today. Hunger is a very big topic and there are a lot of conflicts that cause it, so I knew that this was going to be a challenge. The one thing that I needed to figure out was how I was going to communicate and spread my knowledge and research effectively. I chose to partly make my project visual, using a mix of art mediums. I worked with watercolor, collages, colored pencils, watercolor markers, and mostly stencils. I was new to stenciling, so I had to practice cutting and experimenting with spray paint over the summer. It was not quite as easy as I had thought, it took a lot of practice and it was actually very time consuming. I had the most fun working with this art medium, and it was definitely a cool experience. I chose to work with stencils and used graffiti art theme because I wanted to produce that would attract to a younger crowd. Graffiti art is evolving and is very hip and big in pop culture, so I wanted to do something that was going to appeal more to the younger generation, and use something that was going to be aesthetically, powerful and informative way.
Hunger is a broad topic. So it took months and months of research to help me better understand my topic, find out the common causes, and the most recent facts and statistics of hunger. Importantly, I also wanted to explore the possible solutions and understand where the issue is heading. The United Nations World Food Programme became my prominent source. It helped me find all the information I needed on my topic as well as in specific countries, it also helped me to keep me posted in all the latest headlines, and find out how to help. My outside consultant is the youth outreach coordinator for the UN World Food Programme who was able to answer my questions and concerns. Because hunger is such a big topic, I focused on three countries and used them as case studies. In these countries, I wanted to see the similarities and differences of their situations, and explore possible patterns. Throughout my research, I learned that these countries are in dire situations today; with Zimbabweans current inflation and Haiti’s agricultural decline.
My installation is inspired by the African -American artist, Kara Walker, whom is well known for portraying the stories of southern folklore in huge black silhouetted figures displayed on the white walls of the space. She raises identity and gender issues mostly for African- American women. For my installation, I used a projector to project a map onto the wall and traced with special water-color markers. I also used water-color markers for the stencils, which I traced directly on the wall. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to spray paint onto the wall, which was a bummer; But, I was still happy with the way it turned out.
Throughout this project, I definitely learned more about the issue and I also learned that if you care enough about something, you can truly use your passion to make a difference and motivate others as well as impact others. I learned how to reach out to others in a powerful way. I am proud that I was able to portray my own voice and vision into a big idea.
2050- Africa's Food Challenge. Nov 2009. Nov-Dec 2009 <http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/35770>.
2050: A third Mouths To Feed. Nov 2009. Nov-Dec 2009 <http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/35571/icode>.
Food and Agriculture Organization. 2009 . Oct-Dec 2009 <http://www.fao.org/hunger/en/>.
High Level Expert Forum. 2009. Nov-Dec 2009 <http://www.fao.org/wsfs/forum2050/wsfs-forum>.
Q&A: World Food Prices 2008 . Oct-Dec 2009 <http://www.news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7340214.stm>.
United Nations World Food Programme. 2009. Sept.-Dec. 2009 <http://www.wfp.org>.
Gold For Bread- Zimbabwe. March 2009. Aug 2009
Mud Pies. February 2009. Nov 2009.
Graham, Bell. Email Interview. 5 Jan. 2010.
Bisson, Bernard. French Air Help for Sudanese Refugees at the Ugandan Border. 1989.
Arbib, Adrian. Dika Child Wearing a Food Bowl. c. 1980-1995. <http://www.corbisimages.com:80/Search/SearchResults.aspx?q=hunger&cl=01&p=2>.
Ssekandi, Ronald. Uganda- Food Aid. 2009.
Community Member (Details)
Youth Outreach Coordinator for the UN World Programme.
He was an educator for 13 years and taught at international schools and regular high schools in the UK. Before joining the WFP, he was an ICT coordinator in an international school in Rome, Italy. He talks to teachers and students around the world to educate about hunger.