Art Represent is a social enterprise dedicated to empowering artists affected by conflict and social upheaval. Art Represent is the first global platform of this kind; a curated digital platform that provides artists with a source of income, and a cultural bridge that enables the voices of people affected by conflict to become more ubiquitous on a global stage.
Art Represent works to create dialogue and social cohesion through art. We believe that by providing a platform for artists who belong to communities living in conflict, we can give representation to unheard voices and put a spotlight on the creative talent of individuals who should be recognised by a global audience.
We hope that through art, we can show a more human side to conflict and challenge the negative narratives of conflict regions and the refugees who are forced to flee from them.
We choose our artist on the basis of their talent rather than fetishising them for their personal history. The artists we deal with come from varied circumstances. Some have been affected by violent conflict directly; others are migrants/refugees from communities still afflicted by conflict. Some address conflict directly in their work, others choose to omit such themes from their artistic practice completely. Together, our artists contribute to a complex dialogue surrounding issues of identity, conflict and social upheaval... posing as many questions as they provide answers.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Art Represent is a project that was born out of the culmination of my passions and experiences.
I was born in Tibet and moved to London as an asylum seeker at the age of 10. I lived in East London surrounded by different migrant communities in a completely multi-cultural environment. After high school, I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to attend the United World Colleges, which was founded on the basis of fostering peace through uniting people of different nations and cultures. I went on to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and International Relations at the University of Warwick, and then went on to study Chinese and worked in the art industry Beijing for several years before moving back to London to dive into the startup scene.
I have been fortunate to have gathered so many experiences in my life. My early exposure to an international community, and my experience as a refugee coming to London has shaped me fundamentally to believe that mutual understanding is the first step to resolving conflict and prejudice. Art, is the most powerful tool for communication that we possess, as it transcends cultural and language barriers. We can communicate an entire story with just one image. I wanted to create a platform to protect the growth of artistic talent endangered by conflict and oppression, and provide opportunities for artists to represent their own voices and their stories.
“At a time ... when so much of our politics is trying to manage this clash of cultures brought about by globalization and technology and migration, the role of stories to unify — as opposed to divide, to engage rather than to marginalize — is more important than ever.”