Culture Counts: UNESCO poster competition

Competition Details

Many Small Fish Make One Large Fish

by Oliver Weiss


In aiming to visualize the three main goals of the Rapprochement of Cultures, dialogue, mutual understanding, and cooperation, I have assembled a large number of fish in bright colors that form a very large fish by grouping closely together.

Avoiding any specific cultural features, the shapes of the fish have been designed as silhouettes. Further, I have deliberately avoided using a dark-colored fish for the eye, as the concept of rapprochement does not entail a “leader” guiding the way, but rather affords a collective understanding of each member fish in that cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity can be overcome only by a willingness to cooperate, and to form a whole – the framework for commonly shared values, as is symbolized by the large fish's outline.

The concept of small fish-large fish works very well as a symbol for rapprochement, I find, as each member fish, while a perfect entity in itself, needs to focus on its specific strength needed to build the large fish, and relies on strong dialogue skills so as to communicate to both its closest allies and the group as a whole to make the large fish work. This affords an attentiveness to the strangeness and the separateness that each neighboring fish represents, but also a willingness to cooperate for a higher goal.