In 2020, the world became familiar with adjusting to change, and today the world has risen to the challenge of fighting the pandemic through science, communication, music, and, now the arts.
We know that coming together in solidarity is essential to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. No one is safe until everyone is safe, and in order to ensure that, every member of the global community must come together to fight this global health crisis.
That’s why we launched our Stand Together and Essay and Artwork competition to ask our audiences to illustrate what that looks like to them.
Here’s a look at the short listed artworks.
About the competition
In August, we launched the Stand Together Essay and Artwork. The goal of the competition is to promote global solidarity in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and to recognize creative talents across the continent of Africa. We received over 656 unique essays and 118 artworks that showcased creative suggestions and illustrations of solidarity from all the corners of Africa.
Now, we need your help. We have shortlisted the top pieces of artwork and have now handed the selection of the winner of the Stand Together Artwork Competition to you. Help us decide which artwork best describes the solidarity the world needs to see to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a closer look at the short listed artworks.
Festus Chama, Zambia
Fetus artwork is inspired by the journey everyone around the world has taken to win the fight against the pandemic. The articles on the newspaper in the artwork represent the bits and pieces of news about the pandemic from around the world, while the halt gesture of the hand signifies social distancing.
The hand at the bottom of the painting signifies the call on rich countries to help Africa overcome the pandemic. At the center of the painting are two hands holding a heart, which represents the care for humanity that has been felt across Africa. At the top right of the painting is a dove, which symbolizes hope.
Danladi Elsa, Nigeria
Danladi Elsa’s, a graphic designer from Nigeria, artwork describes the need for unity across the African continent to stop the spread of the pandemic, regardless of every African nation’s diverging interests and multiculturalism.
Dada Abiodun, Nigeria
Nigerian architect Dada Abiodun’s unique artwork titled “War on COVID-19” describes the embodiment of the spirit of Africa to end the pandemic. The boom depicts the much-needed solidarity among the nations of Africa and the syringe stresses the importance of vaccines to winning this war.
Dada explained that the cowry bracelet worn by the model represents the importance of religion, and the mask depicts the need for Africans to exercise preventive measures to stop the transmission of the COVID virus and save the lives of the vulnerable people on the continent.
Finally, the facial expression and the disheveled appearance of the model signify the struggles that accompany achieving victory and the need for everyone to come together to wage the war against the pandemic.
Eze Edward, Nigeria
Eze Edward’s artwork recounts his personal experience with the COVID-19. From weak financial support, poor health facilities, non-implementation of safety measures, and the inability of people in his community to access vaccines, his artwork bears it all and depicts the state of survival in the most vulnerable communities on the continent.
Bakare Olamide, Nigeria
For Bakare Olamide, her artwork explores the relationship between charcoal and colors. It breathes life into the real-life scenarios in her surroundings and reflects an urgent call for Africans to come together and use conventional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Prince Adjei Ackha, Ghana
Prince Adjei Ackah’s artwork is inspired by his belief in achieving greatness through great service. The 21 Africans standing around the continent and wearing masks in the artwork illustrate the diverse cultural backgrounds of Africans each playing their part to curb the spread of the pandemic. The figure “21” represents the 2021 edition of the Stand Together Artwork Competition.
Prince explained that while the black background represents the universe where the earth is located, the yellow color of the sun and the continent in the artwork implies the innovative ideas that Africans have to fight the pandemic and the continent’s connection with God-the-light-being.
Phemelo Machoko, Botswana
For Phemelo, his artwork was inspired by the structure of the COVID-19 virus. The hands in the art show the need for unity, and the colors show identity, solidarity, and the urgent need for a collaborative effort among Africans to defeat the virus.
Onyemuwa Marvellous, Nigeria
Onyemuwa’s artwork describes illustratesCOVID-19 pandemic as a roaring thunder that disrupted life as we know it and shook everyone’s core. The void in the shape of the continent represents Africa’s comfort zone and the titling continent shows how Africa as a whole has been affected by the virus, moving the continent out of its comfort zone into this unknown reality.
The three people supporting the continent represent every African’s role in this fight and in curbing the spread of the virus by obeying the guidelines and enlightening others about the virus. The clouds in the artwork describe the unity Africa needs from its people to fight the pandemic.