I recently entered the UNESCO contest to create the poster for 2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures; intended to promote better communication and understanding between all peoples and cultures.
In thinking about how to best encapsulate the three core dimensions of this year, namely dialogue, mutual understanding, and cooperation, I found myself remembering the most basic means of communication I played with as a child. When two cans are joined by a tightly pulled piece of string you can talk to each other through the cans. This only works if both people maintain their end of the string and can properly so that it remains taut.
To me this image clearly represents how countries can enter dialogue in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation. While it is not difficult to communicate with anyone across the globe these days, people can often end up talking over each other, or be left scrambling to have their voices heard. It is important to show the role that cooperation must also play to achieve meaningful dialogue. When states work together to keep their end of the string tight then magic can happen.
The colours of each can (and string) in this poster appear in the flags of every nation in the world, with none left out. There are 192 cans representing each United Nations member state, placed on each side of the poster to allude both to the globe and to the dialogue across it.
The graphic as a whole combines to form a visual meant to intrigue an...