Visions of Hope

In New York, for the first anniversary of September 11 an exhibition by Colors Magazine – Fabrica about the future

Ponzano, September 4th 2002. How do you picture hope? To Zeus Saceda Arnáiz, 12, Spanish flower vendor, hope is “a quiet life and that people be good and they don’t throw trash in the street”. To Zulfah Otto Sallies, 39, South African film director, hope is “tounderstand the complexity of mankind”. And Huber Theodor Oremus, 84, a Dutch Catholic priest, hopes to visit China one day “since I was four years old, I wanted to go to China, but me and God have not agreed on my placement on Earth”. United Colors of Benetton asked children, women and men from all over the world what was their idea of hope and photographed them while, eyes closed, they imagined the future.

These pictures form the basis of the exhibition Visions of Hope, organised in collaboration with The New Yorker: a project of 28 portraits, to mark the first anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, will be held in New York from 9th to 21stSeptember 2002 at the Italian Cultural Institute (686 Park Avenue). The images will be presented today in the lobby of the Condé Nast Building in Times Square and a sampling of the exhibition will appear in the issue of The New Yorker dedicated to the anniversary of the events of September 11th.

The concept of this exhibition – conceived by Colors Magazine and Fabrica, Benetton’s communication research centre – revolves around a very simple idea with high visual impact. As the presentation points out, “September 11 opened our eyes. We saw things we would have preferred not to see, and things we never wanted to see. Now, one year later, we can close our eyes and imagine the future, knowing that something still remains, indelible, before our eyes”.

Each in their own way, through their expression and a short caption, these people convey their desire for a new world, a sign of hope, a dream. Because, in the words of Aristotle, today more than ever “hope is a waking dream”.


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