Social Good Summit 2017: Street Arting the Global Goals in Georgia

Photo: Vladimer Valishvili/UNDP
Photo: Vladimer Valishvili/UNDP

On a bright Sunday morning in September 2017, a Georgian city of Rustavi has turned into a landmark of street art and Sustainable Development Goals.

The amazed visitors admired the fantastic murals on the walls of a summer theatre in the city park, wondering about the reasons behind this intriguing display. Most curious were approaching a group of street artists who obviously enjoyed a mass effect made by their work.

“Why doesn’t she speak?" asked a three-year girl watching a mural which depicted a red-hair white-masked woman in a blur of flowers. “She does,” said the artist, Tamuna Tsakhnakhia, best known as TAmOonz. “She is a goddess and she speaks for the environment, for nature, for making our lives better.”

Indeed, the street art showcase in Rustavi has been inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals and has challenged most pressing issues faced by the world – inequality, climate change, urban development, poverty and conflicts.

Carried away with the idea of this unprecedented global effort Georgia is part of, a group of well-known Georgian street artists joined hands with UNDP and our partners in Georgia – the Rustavi City Hall, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), Government of Sweden, EdgeRyders and the UNDP-UNV joint project of FutureMakers, for the most creative Social Good Summit ever hosted in Georgia – the Street Art Day.

Photo: Vladimer Valishvili/UNDP
Photos: Vladimer Valishvili/UNDP

“The power of art helped us reach out for people and tell everyone that they can make a difference in the future of their country and the world,” said Shombi Sharp, Deputy Head of UNDP in Georgia.

The Street Art Day became a signature event of the first national Global Goals Festival in Georgia initiated by the United Nations to spread the message about the Sustainable  Development Goals and encourage Georgians to take part in the achievement of the national SDGs.

Hundreds of people joined the Festival in Rustavi which carried a message about our shared responsibility for the future. A message as clear and bright as the murals on the summer theatre walls.

“What is next?” was the most frequently asked question at the Festival.

The celebration in Rustavi is the first step in the national SDG campaign in Georgia. Its emotional drive, inspiration and engagement calls for an immediate action to make the Global Goals a priority for all.

October 2017

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