Forty Cultural Leaders in Davos “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”

Published
13 Dec 2017
2017
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Chloé Laluc, Communications Officer, World Economic Forum: Tel.: +41 22 869 3724; Email: clal@weforum.org

· Forty artists and cultural leaders from around the world will participate in the 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting taking place on 23-26 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland

· The community of Cultural Leaders will highlight the arts as the means to bridge divides and spur collaboration on shared global challenges

· Arts and culture will feature prominently in the official programme with special exhibitions, installations, musical performances and screenings

Geneva, Switzerland, 13 December 2017 – The World Economic Forum announced today that 40 leading international artists will participate in its 48th Annual Meeting. These cultural leaders will join other leaders from business, government, the media and civil society to advance dialogue and drive change under the meeting’s theme, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”.

At a time of increasingly volatile cultural wars and identity politics, Cultural Leaders are promoting constructive ways to build a shared future. Among the 40 Cultural Leaders in Davos will be filmmakers Feras Fayyad (Syria) and Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya), science-fiction author Hao Jingfang (China), artists Mehdi Ghadyanloo (Iran) and Trevor Paglen (US), and navigator Nainoa Thompson (Hawaii, US). Also joining are long-time members of the Forum’s Cultural Leaders community, including photographer Platon (US), choreographer Jin Xing (China), and musicians will.i.am and Yo-Yo Ma (US). A full list of Cultural Leaders, including the recipients of the 24th Annual Crystal Awards, will be announced in January 2018.

“Today we see more clearly how culture can also divide as much as it can unite. We must work together to promote dialogue and inclusivity and to create new narratives for a shared future. Artists and cultural institutions play a central role in this process,” said Nico Daswani, Head of Arts and Culture at the World Economic Forum.

Creative approaches to promote shared narratives through arts and culture will include:

- MASTERWORKS: In collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler museums of Asian art and the Turquoise Mountain charity, this maker-space will feature master artisans from Afghanistan, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The artisans will work in cross-cultural pairs to co-create new works throughout the Annual Meeting. The maker-space anchors the LOFT, a unique venue for more than 30 sessions on understanding how exclusion is embodied in individuals and communities; sharing tools for fostering constructive dialogue on divisive issues; and collaborating on ideas for creating a more equal and inclusive world.

- PORTALS: Developed in collaboration with Science Gallery International, this special exhibition features four immersive digital gateways designed for creating more meaningful human exchange. It includes the world premiere of the second chapter in Lynette Wallworth’s Emmy-Award winning Collisions VR/AR series; and an installation by Shared_Studios for live face-to-face dialogue with people in locations such as a tech hub in Gaza, a refugee camp in Iraq, a university in Nairobi and a park in Colorado.

- Storywall: This eight-metre-high installation by Mike Stilkey is painted on the spine of 8,000 disused books, exploring the tension between cultural identity and the globalization of knowledge.

- Fractures: This projection mapping experience with National Geographic, designed by Zsolt Balogh, highlights the need for international cooperation to nurture wildlife and natural habitats.

The opening ceremony will include a world-premiere ballet performance by La Scala principal dancer étoile Roberto Bolle with the Cameristi della Scala in a unique programme fusing Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, exploring the fine line between chaos and harmony in our relationship with nature. The performance is supported by Intesa Sanpaolo. On 26 January, the Davos Festival Chamber Choir will be featured in a closing performance reflecting on the Annual Meeting theme.

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting brings together governments, international organizations, business, civil society, cultural leaders, media, experts and young leaders from all over the world. For further information, please click here.

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