ILE ITAJA -SHOPPINGLIST #2
There is a saying that hunger is the root of many problems. If we can solve hunger, other solutions will follow. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the fragility of our food system, leaving many foods insecure for the first time in their lives, and deepening the problem for many others already living on the edge. We may not be happy about how 2020 went down; everything that we all went through and what went through us. We have prepared for many years innovating weapons to fight any war that may come to us. But the war that came knocking in 2020 was invisible. We can only survive by leaning on one another but as everything was locked down, we were isolated from our loved ones, friends, and communities. The whole world was brought to stillness in a matter of seconds. Our intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge were put to the test. 2020 will also go down as the year that opened our eyes more to police brutality. It gave us time to spend with our families. As many were doing around the world, I started helping elderly, mobility challenged, and unhoused people get groceries. As I ordered online to have food delivered, I encountered a deluge of boxes and food packaging. I started collecting the food boxes in my studio. As I watched the piles build, I decided to use them to create an artwork to speak to the moments of this past year: the encounters, the struggles, disappointments, and successes. To speak to the ghostliness of empty streets and stores, and the moments of grace and gratefulness for one’s blessings, even though we were all afraid of what might happen next. As I built these mini grocery stores, I thought of the relationships we build and how covid is pulling them down brick by brick. I thought of the hands and souls have touched the packages and mourned some of them who passed. The colors were arranged to invoke the ceaseless news and information flow on social media and the internet; the day-to-day report on the progress of finding a cure, how many people are affected, infected, surviving or dying all around the world, and the statistics of economies failing. Finally, our prayers are answered. With hope, confidence, perseverance, belief, trust, and togetherness we have done it. The cure is here. I have received mine. What about you? Let us all do our part to keep our communities and families safe. We are the one people, one world with one common goal that is to survive. where we are is Home, lets us be our brothers, sisters, Neighbor’s keeper, in unity, love they say conquer all odd. This project was supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant' Artprize Equity Grant, CORE fund from Cultural art division of economic development of Austin – Texas and ArtWithAkirash Studio LLC.