Satyajit Ray’s portrait at UN exhibition

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New York, June 27 (IANS) Indian film maestro Satyajit Ray is among the 16 global thinkers whose portraits have been displayed here at the UN art exhibition titled “The Transformative Power of Art”. They have been recognised for contributing to the common good of humanity.

“Today, the urgency of placing people at the centre of everything we do is both a challenge and a miracle of human creativity that can be translated into a common language of artistic inspiration as our fragile Mother Earth faces the devastating consequences of climate change, a defining challenge of our time,” Ugandan Sam Kutesa, who currently holds the rotational presidency of the UN General Assembly, said in a statement published on the official website.

The exhibition, which takes place under the United Nations “2015: Time for Global Action” campaign, is primarily destined to raise awareness about climate change and our fragile ecosystems.

The portraits are meant to project the power of generosity that touches the human heart and conscience. The men and women who are represented never lost sight of the most vulnerable. Apart from Ray, the list includes Pierre-Claver Akendengué (Gabon), Maya Angelou (US), Joan Baez (US), Audrey Hepburn (Britain), Vassily Kandinsky (Russia), Umm Kulthum (Egypt), Gong Li (China), Miriam Makeba (South Africa), Edgar Morin (France), Fatemeh Motamed-Arya (Iran), Okot p’Bitek (Uganda), Sebastião Salgado (Brazil), Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (Kenya), and Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan).

“The Transformative Power of Art” is open to all in the Visitor’s concourse at United Nations Headquarters here.

The sculptures that are exhibited are made of natural elements provided by nature’s bounty from all parts of the world. They bear testimony to nature’s resilience in the face of man-made challenges. The sculptures are like totems, silent performers, and reminders of the perils facing Mother Earth and humankind.

The 16 accompanying portraits represent people from all continents who, during their lifetime, contributed to the common good of humanity in one way or another and have transformed the way we think.

The objective of the exhibition is to demonstrate that art creates bridges where politics divide. It was designed with the conviction that artistic impulse always carries seeds of redemption.


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