Mankind is now sinking in a globalized society within an economic crisis, not as a result of the financial debacle, but by the humanist crisis provoked by man himself. We have a crisis of values, a cultural crisis and an ecological crisis, among many others. As citizens of the world, we must bring awareness and social responsibility to our society. Visual artists, as humanists and creators of sensible objects are committed to creating worldwide awareness on one of the biggest problems facing the 21st century, child abuse. For this reason, over 100 mail artists with 134 works and representing 25 countries have gathered through the 1st International Show of Mail Art and Visual Poetry in Puerto Rico to send an international message: Stop Child Abuse. Our reason is simple, it’s a problem that concerns humanity: Latin America, Europe, the U.S., the Caribbean and Puerto Rico.
Abuse and violence against children not only occurs within the family. It has been a constant throughout history in every territory on earth who has experienced the cruelty of war, exploitation, slavery, poverty and drug trafficking. According to the United Nations “Violence against children cuts across cultural, social, educational, income and ethnicity, and occurs in many different environments.” The provisions and principles of UNICEF and the Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that “All children have the same right to develop their potential: all, in all situations, all the time, everywhere.”
In Puerto Rico, according to Rosa G. Irizarry, director of the Preventive Program of Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse “Statistics in Puerto Rico on sexual abuse and child abuse are heartbreaking. Each year about 24,000 children are victims of some form of abuse.” Also, the statistics of the Department of the Family show that about 200 children are victims of abuse in Puerto Rico each month. With this discouraging environment, the international panorama of the visual arts has joined our island to proclaim a stop to violence against children.
Eventually, each of us have contributed to the disintegration of our society and child abuse through our indifference. We are causing not only global warming, but our own de-humanization. We have a responsibility not just to leave a better eco-friendly environment, but we must decide under what conditions we want to live. An “avatar” society made real. Without child abuse.
The exhibition will be on view from March 11 to April 3, 2010 at the Centro de Información de la Universidad Metropolitana del Sistema Universitario Ana G. Méndez in Cupey, Puerto Rico, with the participation of influential figures in the Mail Art Movement such as Clemente Padin (Uruguay), Tulio Restrepo (Colombia), Cesar Reglero (España), Emilio Morandi (Italia), Keiyh A. Buchholz (Estados Unidos), Dede van der Roove (Polonia) Katerina Nikoltson, (Grecia), Michel Della Vedova (Francia) y Edwin Velázquez (Puerto Rico).
Text written by Edwin Velazquez, Artist and Curator
Images provided by the artists
- Lexus Artist Grants Opening Show at the MAC
- Jorge Pineda
- Quintín Rivera Toro at Museo de las Américas