We are living in times that are challenging our generosity as human beings and how we view others.
Others belong to different cultures and consequently have a different religious outlook or value things differently than we do. The EU, which started out as an idea to avoid a third world war, and consequently is a giant peace project, is going through hard times. The refugee crisis is challenging many of us and our tolerance towards others. The right-wing movement is gaining a foothold and the US has a new president, largely due to anti-globalization sentiments and fear of others.
I believe that in this climate we could do with a bit of focus on inclusiveness, generosity towards others, and the celebration of diversity. Without globalization, we would still be eating fish, meatballs, and potatoes in Norway and would never have tasted things like spaghetti (or Italian noodles as they call them in China), quesadillas, meze, or sushi. We would still be dancing to fiddles, without having discovered the tango, capoeira, taekwondo, or tai-chi.
Our ambition for Art for All in the World in Sandefjord – officially opened by the Norwegian prime minister on 3 June – was to create a project that celebrates inclusiveness, tolerance, and diversity. And what better way to do it than to use colours showing ‘it takes all kinds to make a world’. Sandefjord is a small town by world standards (62,000 inhabitants), so the impact has been very visible for many.