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  • Millions of Pieces: Only One Puzzle

    Art Works for Change sent the Venezuelan artist, Antonio Briceno, to Rwanda to photograph its many environmental challenges, from overcoming poverty to developing sustainable energy resources to solving land degradation. The exhibition, titled “Millions of Pieces: Only One Puzzle,” addresses the importance of our diverse species and ecosystems, and how they contribute to human well-being through their impact upon medicine, climate, food production, energy, design, and culture. The exhibition was produced by Art Works for Change, at the invitation of the United Nations Environment Programme in celebration of World Environment Day, 2010.

    Nature is an infinitely diverse mosaic. Every piece — animals, plants, mushrooms, even bacteria and viruses — plays an irreplaceable role. It has taken thousands of millions of years to arrive at the magnificent world where we live. But humans have changed its equilibrium to a critical point, endangering the diversity of life on which we rely for food, energy, medicine, shelter, recreation, relaxation and much more. Do we have the right to destroy or alter this masterful mosaic of life?

    There is no puzzle like this in the known universe, and we won’t likely get a second opportunity. The pieces of the puzzle are in each of our hands.

    This work is a homage to the people of Rwanda, that small country of the thousand hills and the thousand smiles. Despite its dramatic history and the problems it faces, it bets for a green economy and policies in which both humans and nature can benefit from each other, where nature’s preservation will ensure the health and wealth of its population. We also bet for her, as an example to the rest of the world.


    • Anastasia Nyranenza and her children have to walk longs distances along the roads to find the wood for their basic use, close to the town of Kayonza.


    • Nepo and Diedone Bivugire derive their income fishing tilapia at Lake Ihema. Among papyrus and hippos, wooden traditional canoes move them over the shrinking shoals of fishes.


    • Leliance Uwimana prepares the soil for planting near Gisakura, within the borders of the national park. She depends on the Kamiranzovu’s protection for her survival.


    • Rurengo Enok, a traditional Pygmy medicine man, receives the visitors with his imposing presence, among the dancers and musicians. 


    • John Bosco Ukurikiyeyezu heads the Kitabi cooperative just outside the park. The flowers of Hagenia abisinica are favorites of the bees and are abundant in the Nyungwe.


    • Evelyne Mukandekeze is one of the hundreds of workers who benefit from the tea plantations at the Gisakura Tea Factory.


    • Near Musanze, at the feet of the Volcanoes National Park, a garden of medicinal plants is harvested by a group of traditional doctors for both local and remote patients. Doctor David Bizimana works at Nyange and, among other plants, uses the gasaho to treat asthma.


    • Daniel Niyonsaba is an excellent guide of the Niungwe National Park. His knowledge of nature is unparalleled and he helps to remind visitors of all that has been lost due to human carelessness.


    • Jeannete Uwineza gathers her family daily use of water at a public fountain in Ngwenyu, Kigali.


    • Wildlife tourism in the Rwanda helps save seed dispersers and their ecosystems. Alphonse Nsengiyumva orientates and sells the tickets for the visitors to the Nyungwe National Park.

    Exhibition Statement

    Art Works for Change sent the Venezuelan artist, Antonio Briceno, to Rwanda to photograph its many environmental challenges, from overcoming poverty to developing sustainable energy resources to solving land degradation. The exhibition, titled “Millions of Pieces: Only One Puzzle,” addresses the importance of our diverse species and ecosystems, and how they contribute to human well-being through their impact upon medicine, climate, food production, energy, design, and culture. The exhibition was produced by Art Works for Change, at the invitation of the United Nations Environment Programme in celebration of World Environment Day, 2010.
     
    Nature is an infinitely diverse mosaic. Every piece — animals, plants, mushrooms, even bacteria and viruses — plays an irreplaceable role. It has taken thousands of millions of years to arrive at the magnificent world where we live. But humans have changed its equilibrium to a critical point, endangering the diversity of life on which we rely for food, energy, medicine, shelter, recreation, relaxation and much more. Do we have the right to destroy or alter this masterful mosaic of life?
     
    There is no puzzle like this in the known universe, and we won’t likely get a second opportunity. The pieces of the puzzle are in each of our hands.
     
    This work is a homage to the people of Rwanda, that small country of the thousand hills and the thousand smiles. Despite its dramatic history and the problems it faces, it bets for a green economy and policies in which both humans and nature can benefit from each other, where nature’s preservation will ensure the health and wealth of its population. We also bet for her, as an example to the rest of the world.

    Venues

    World Environment Day, Kigali, Rwanda, June, 2010

    Sponsors