Ghana ThinkTank Invited to UN Anniversary Exhibition
Ghana ThinkTank was chosen for The Future is Unwritten: Artists for Tomorrow, the United Nations’ 75th anniversary art exhibition. The exhibition is online, in collaboration with Google Arts and Culture.
“The exhibition showcases projects by nine international artists implementing societal innovation towards a more sustainable world,” according to the exhibition website. “With a focus on innovation and impact, these artists represent the shift from discussion to implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through individual artist presentations, this exhibition for the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary Program honors these cultural pioneers as iconoclastic thinkers, essential for the social entrepreneurship and transformation the future requires.”
In 2015, the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda, a shared plan for a sustainable future, adopted by all its member states and featuring 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ten-year period for implementation of these goals has begun.
Founded in 2006, Ghana ThinkTank taps think tanks in the Third World to solve problems found in the First World. The Future is Unwritten features their project in Detroit called American RIAD, an art and housing justice project. A think tank in Morocco suggested the first world problem of social isolation is due largely to its architecture. Their solution is communal living around a shared common space, known in Islamic architecture as a riad.
Ghana ThinkTank co-founder Christopher Robbins is director of the School of Art+Design and associate professor of sculpture. Working in collaboration with local community organizations in Detroit, the project is the first in Michigan to rely on a land trust model to block gentrification. Dozens of students from Purchase College have participated in Study Away programs, helping to turn abandoned buildings on an overgrown corner lot into affordable housing units and businesses.