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.
World Environment Day, Kigali, Rwanda, June, 2010