Global: Collaboration with the Jimmy Nelson Foundation to empower indigenous talent

In an effort to showcase the importance of indigenous cultures, MasterPeace and the Jimmy Nelson Foundation are teaming up to empower artists from indigenous communities. By enabling the realization of four indigenous themed murals in four urban centres of Latin America, the organizations show their belief in the power of art to express cultural diversity and bring people closer together. The project is named ‘As They Pass By – Walls of Connection’, an optimistic reference to photographer Jimmy Nelson’s book on indigenous cultures and MasterPeace’s dedication to using dividing walls to create inter-personal understanding. The project enables local indigenous artists to show their talents and pay a thematic tribute to each of the earth’s directions of the Medicine Wheel, an important symbol in many indigenous cultures.

MasterPeace and the Jimmy Nelson Foundation have found each other in their shared belief in the power of creativity and cultural expression to empower indigenous to preserve their culture and share it with a wider community. The partnership is value driven, since both organisations stand behind empowering local communities and embracing cultural diversity through using all art forms as a tool to express and connect.

The urban nature of the mural project is no coincidence. ‘As They Pass By – Walls of Connection’ comes at a crucial time when the growing impact of urbanization and globalization is enormous for indigenous people across the world. Reports from Amnesty International show that more than 50% of all indigenous people are currently living in urban areas, where they face severe challenges eroding their cultural heritage through discriminating and marginalizing practices. Transforming urban spaces will allow indigenous people to be more visible and showcase pride in their culture. Collaborating communities are the Zapotec community in Querétaro, Mexico, the Mapuche community in Valparaíso, Chile, the Guarani community in São Paulo, Brazil and the the Embera community in Bogotá, Colombia.

Jimmy Nelson Foundation – MasterPeace (Global Partnerships) 29 May 2017

The project is especially precious to MasterPeace’s Regional Director in Europe. Céline van Dormalen comes from a Chilean-Mapuche-Pehuenche background. “With this project, we celebrate the spirit of indigenous peoples globally. I believe in the power of indigenous street art. It is a modern form of storytelling to connect with other people and to show indigenous pride beyond borders”. Jimmy Nelson is just as enthusiastic: “With the murals we celebrate beauty and create pride. Indigenous cultures have knowledge that we in the Western world are not paying attention to. By creating visibility, we can connect different worlds.”

The project is a spin-off from MasterPeace’s ‘Walls of Connection’ series. These numerous interventions focus on mobilizing local talents and communities to use walls to connect creatively rather than separate, improving the livelihoods and contributing to urban development and integration. From one indigenous community to the next, artists, participant’s communities, indigenous groups and Latin Americans come together to paint, connect, start a dialogue and celebrate their diverse cultures. Victor López, a participating urban Zapotec artist: “Art is my language and surpasses all frontiers.”

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About MasterPeace

MasterPeace is an award-winning grassroots peace movement that officially launched in 2011, with hubs  in Cairo, Utrecht, Tbilisi, and Mexico City and currently active through MasterPeace Clubs in 45+ countries, primarily in conflict areas, involving thousands of young peace builders. MasterPeace’s vision is to inspire everyone to use their talent and energy for building peace and togetherness. MasterPeace will help lead the way to a more sustainable world and bring people together using music, art, creativity, positivity and inspiration.

By 2020, MasterPeace will mobilize, inspire, connect and train 200,000 Nelsons. They will form a global positive inclusive movement that aims to prevent and transform new conflicts, including most of the (former) conflict areas, but also within inner cities in the western hemisphere. MasterPeace mobilizes its global communities to help the world achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

About the Jimmy Nelson Foundation

The Jimmy Nelson Foundation empowers cultural expression. It was set up in 2016 to bring people from different worlds together. The Jimmy Nelson Foundation is a charitable organisation which enables and finances external project initiatives that highlight (indigenous) cultures. JiNeFo supports creativity, connects worlds and guarantees diversity for generations to come.

Our world is changing rapidly. Through this inevitable process, the world’s cultural colours are fading – and with that – extraordinary knowledge is being lost. It is important to encourage people to find pride in our cultural heritage and celebrate diversity. JiNeFo stresses that original knowledge can teach us invaluably much about ourselves and it encourages responsibility to look after each other and the planet.

JiNeFo sets out to guarantee a culturally diverse world for generations to come. It supports project initiatives that capture the beauty of our world. Supported project initiatives are designed with an equal outcome and take place everywhere in the world. With an emphasis on capturing beauty, the projects revolve around creating understanding and inspiring people.

JiNeFo nurtures talent and offer a sharing platform for everyone.

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