Figures made from newsprint using papers from all the nations in the world
Primary subject of my „Global Citizen Project“ is globalisation.
In my work of I deal with various aspects of this new rapid development.
Globalisation substantially changes our lives. It’s already obvious
that cultural diversity grown over milleniums will gradually merge with
an almost uniform global culture.
Evidence suggests that the economically powerful countries will lead the way with regards to political, social, ecological, economical conditions and that the poorer nations will have to yield thus becoming the victims of globalisation.
What we need are widely accepted rules to guarantee social and economical development of all countries by paying regard to the cultural diversity of these societies. Otherwise I fear that globalisation will increase the disparity of the poor and the rich worldwide. This may also apply to geographical regions, countries and individuals.
This rapid development of globalisation has only become possible by the increasing use of modern communication technologies, which on the other hand, offer a great chance of understanding each other. For the first time there is a cheap and easy way for individuals to communicate worldwide and to get to know each other without political or religious obligations. This could be a chance to learn how to respect each other and also a way against xenophobia for a better understanding of foreigners. We often fear things we don’t know and social hostility or even hatred often arise from fear.
800 million people suffer from malnutrition. Millions don’t have enough food to lead an active life. About one quarter of the world’s population is threatened by unsufficient food supply. So globalisation should imply a new international economic order that can enable poorer countries to supply sufficient food for their people. No country should be obliged to buy food for its citizens on the world market. So a country that has to import most of its corn for prices on the world market could run into serious problems because any stock change could actually bull the market thus excluding millions of people from the international food market.
Children are by nature cheerful and impartial creatures. They want to
comprehend and come to know about the world they live in. That is why the
kids among my figures raise their arms above their heads reaching out to
the future. Children like to be playful and to be brought up with tender
and loving care. Their personality should be respected and they should
have fundamental rights as well, otherwise they will definitely be among
the losers of globalisation. They should have access to education and be
protected from sexual abuses. Child labour must be prohibited everywhere
and the use of child soldiers has to be stopped.
Since 1987 two million child soldiers have been killed, eight million were seriously wounded or mutilated and more than 15 million suffer from mental shocks.
There should also be no gender disrimination, i.e. any action that grants or denies opportunities, privileges, or rewards to a child just on the basis of their sex.
The situation of children in many countries of the world has to be regarded as unsatisfactory. Though there has been some progress during recent years there are still alarming facts.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) more than 250 million children aged between 5 and 14 yrs are forced to do child labour. In 1998 there was an international march in Geneva to support the “Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention”, which was adopted by the ILO. Their aim is the “Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of Child Labour
I strongly support this convention and wish to contribute through my work to achieve these aims.
My figures represent individuals genetically almost identical but also
quite different. They speak different languages, use different scripts
and have different religions. Their cultures show a great diversity. They
have achieved cultural assets and their cultural heritage should be preserved.
More and more people however realise how fragile their culture has become, how their language isn’t used any more, how their history has been forgotten and how avant-garde artists are not appreciated any more. There is an increased awareness for these problems also among developing countries whose position will be especially important for the future negotiations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). One common purpose to be achieved is to preserve cultural diversity with all its essential effects on mankind.
Xenia Marita Riebe.
photo by Siegfried Mayska