SIMPLE LIVING & DARFURNICA
In 2006 I moved to the Netherlands to study art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. After completing the first semester I was walking on the street when I was hit from behind by a large scooter. I flew about 20 meters and landed on my neck and back. Due to the accident I could not walk for several months, I lost the hearing on one ear, I lost my tasting sense and I had severe memory loss due to a concussion. This dramatically changed my life. I could not continue my studies and eventually it took 2 years of rehabilitation training to recover.
Due to the excruciating pain and frustration with my situation I became very depressed. As I was lying in bed unable to move, something happened while I was reading a newspaper. On one page there was a very small update on the situation in Darfur. On the opposite page they ran a full page story on Paris Hilton going to prison. I had felt irritated before with the way some parts of mass media prioritize between world matters and celebrity gossip, but something about seeing it like this sparked the idea of doing something. I started brainstorming on ways to express this in a drawing. This completely shifted my focus and rather than vanishing in self pity I promised myself, that when I got my health back I would make an art work about this and raise money for the Darfurian people.
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE VERDICT HERE:
Darfurnica, 2010. Oil on canvas, 350 x 776 cm.
Darfurnica in Kulturzeit.
A 1:1 print of Darfurnica in the court room in the Hague. This print was used as evidence.
The Danish museum Heart supported me by exhibiting Darfurnica.
During my legal dispute with LV, the most amazing thing happened. Other artists and cartoonists started supporting me by drawing bags. This one is by Argus.
Drawing by Ruben L. Oppenheimer
A 7 meter tall Simple Living boy appeared on a building in Maastricht.
In October 2012 I participated in the first world conference on art and censorship All That Is Banned Is Desired in the opera house in Oslo. This video shows my presentation.
The Danish Culture Minister, Per Stig Møller, gave the opening speech at INTERVENTION. (Danish)
Following my Simple Living campaign, I started Simple Living 2.
This drawing was a comments on the way Western media pressures women to be a "size zero", while other people are starving.
Image by Vokum
Drawing by Alexsandro Palombo