Showcasing the strength of human connection, collaboration as well as commitment to creating a better future for all humanity, ‘The Journey of Humanity’, the 17,000-square-foot masterpiece holding the Guinness World Record™ for the largest art canvas in the world, has been unveiled this evening at Atlantis, The Palm, in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Cabinet Member, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and His Excellency Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares. The Royal Unveiling of the painting marks the return of the art piece to Atlantis, The Palm to be ‘reunited’ where it was firstly created after having been cut, stretched and framed into individual artworks.
Created by Dubai-based British artist and philanthropist Sacha Jafri, the magnificent artwork was brought to life over a period of 28 weeks in Atlantis, The Palm’s ballroom from March to September 2020 during the lockdown. The initiative invited children from around the world to submit their drawings, pictures, paintings, collages and sketches, which inspired Sacha to create the first layer of the canvas (the Soul) on the themes of isolation and connection.
Reaching more than 2.5 billion individuals worldwide, ‘The Journey of Humanity’ is part of Jafri’s charitable initiative ‘Humanity Inspired’, which was launched under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Cabinet Member, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence in partnership with Dubai Cares and Atlantis, The Palm.
“‘The Journey of Humanity’ represents my own journey that I embarked upon during the COVID-19 pandemic to fulfill my dream to reconnect our planet. So many people have contributed to this beautiful initiative, in so many different ways at a time when the world had become completely disconnected.” said Sacha Jafri.
“My creation narrates the story of hope and positivity at a time when we are grappling with the biggest crisis of our generation. If one man can spend 20 hours a day to create this painting, imagine what 7.5 billion could do if they came together. I thank Dubai Cares and Atlantis, The Palm along with all of our partners and supporters who are on this historical and incredible journey with us, ‘Humanity Inspired’ is a legacy and we are creating a movement that has only just begun,” he added.
Own a piece of history to paint a better future for the most in-need children of the world
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused one of the biggest disruptions in the history of the education sector affecting children’s learning and development at an unprecedented level. Closure of schools to prevent the spread of the virus has created massive dependence on online learning. However, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 360 million young people currently do not have access to the internet.
Described as ‘The Modern-Day Sistine Chapel’, the ‘Journey of Humanity’ invites the global community to serve as a catalyst for change for underprivileged children in urgent need of assistance and support. By purchasing part of the record-breaking painting, individuals will own a piece of history while making a significant positive difference in the lives of children most affected by the pandemic.
‘The Journey of Humanity’ aims to raise more than AED 110 million (USD 30 million) across live auctions over the next 12 months, with the funds to be routed through Dubai Cares to the initiative’s beneficiary partners that include UNICEF, UNESCO, The Global Gift Foundation and Dubai Cares for their humanitarian initiatives to tackle issues related to children’s digital access to connectivity and learning, as well as healthcare and sanitation. The Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence and the Ministry of Education in the UAE also joined the initiative.
Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares and a Member of its Board of Directors, said: “Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises, children today are facing some of the biggest challenges of our times including an increasingly growing digital divide that prevents them from acquiring quality education. Lack of access to connectivity is fuelling this divide like never before, demanding our urgent attention and action.
Initiatives like ‘Humanity Inspired’ are the need of the hour. They allow us to connect with our partners in meaningful ways, and collectively champion the cause for children and youth’s education by ensuring that digital connectivity becomes an enabler instead of a barrier. We are proud to have been part of ‘The Journey of Humanity’ and look forward to seeing its impact in the years to come, as we empower more and more children the opportunity to learn, flourish and succeed. We thank Sacha Jafri for this incredible initiative that truly inspires us to believe in the goodness of mankind and the power of connection and collaboration.”
Part of the funds raised from the initiative will be directed towards UNICEF’s Giga, an initiative launched last year and led by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to connect every school in the world to the internet.
The initiative will also support UNESCO in their efforts towards facilitating the production and endorsement of a Global Declaration on Connectivity for Learning and Livelihood, which aims to make connected learning more inclusive and more equitable, and will be launched by Dubai Cares and its partners during Expo 2020 Dubai.
In addition, Humanity Inspired will support The Global Gift Foundation’s causes and initiatives which are designed to support projects that eradicate poverty and hunger, ensuring the most vulnerable don’t have to struggle to put food on the table; giving access to health care and lifesaving treatments as well as providing shelter, clothing and the right to an education.
The Royal Unveiling celebration at Atlantis, The Palm featured spectacular performances by opera’s greatest talents, Angelica de la Riva.
“Being re-united with this incredible work of art in the very place it was conceived is a profoundly special and moving moment for all of us at Atlantis, The Palm. Sacha Jafri is undoubtedly one of the most successful contemporary artists of his generation and it has been an honor and a pleasure to have him as our guest. The big day has finally arrived and while we won’t be saying goodbye as Sacha will remain a lifelong friend of Atlantis, we wish his ambitious philanthropic project all the very best as it sets off on its mission to raise millions for disadvantaged children,” said Tim Kelly, Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Atlantis Dubai.
The general public can explore select pieces from ‘The Journey of Humanity’ at the Leila Heller Gallery, the largest in the UAE located in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai. Individuals interested in owning a piece of the artwork and a piece of history can obtain more information by sending an email to [email protected].