Absolut have been collaborating with the biggest names in the art world for over 40 years, drawing in the likes of Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst. They have also always ensured that the calibre of artists on offer is matched by the integrity of the creative projects — and in this regard, their latest venture is certainly no exception. Enlisting seven artists from every corner of the globe to take over their hometowns for one night only, their latest projects unites art with the communities that inspired it. Each of the seven artists was tasked with creating a transformative mural, portraying a vision of a better tomorrow. To maintain the project’s roots in hyperlocality, these visions of a better tomorrow address issues from the artists’ specific corners of the world. The project reflected Absolut’s “belief in and support of artistic expression today” very literally, as the artists were tasked with completing the murals overnight.
From Catete in Rio to Chengdu in China, the participating artists span a vast range of cultures, religions, ethnicities and societies. What unites them is a common goal: to unite their communities. With the help of Absolut, their artwork will be sold online, with all the proceeds going back into the neighbourhoods. For Berlin, the chosen artist is somewhat of a viral sensation.
Earlier this year, Ibo Omari and the group of anti-fascist artists that make up “The Cultural Heirs” went viral on Facebook, thanks to their efforts at combatting neo-nazi graffiti. The group converted swastikas and other neo-nazi emblems into dog faces, flies, or simply redacted them. Their work takes on a particular power in the context of 2017, especially when you consider the gains the far-right party AfD made in the recent German elections. Talking to Absolut, Omari summed up the groups intentions thusly: “Supplying our community with free creative tools and raising awareness for the the multicultural-history of our community. Being active against racism and gentrification”.
In this time of great political instability, the work of Omari and The Cultural Heirs is invaluable. It’s grassroots initiatives like this which can truly impact change in communities. Omari holds inclusivity and creative freedom at the core of what he does, and much like Absolut, uses this as a start point for his projects. ‘Their core beliefs are very different than other major alcohol brand’s core beliefs – like them I think that respect, diversity and finally ‘global unity’ will be indispensable for all humans on this planet.”
Absolut also tasked long-time artist and filmmaker Aaron Rose with creating a film to document “A Night for Change”. Speaking to the alcohol giant Rose elaborated, “The film is assembled as a poetic collage juxtaposing the artists creating their work and the communities they are affecting. The film is composed as a series of contrasting narratives that weave seamlessly together to create a global vision for how art can facilitate change.”
If you’re in Catete, Chengdu, Eastside, Kreuzberg, Mumbai, Toxteth or Bushwick, go and find a piece of your community spray-painted on the wall. If you aren’t lucky enough to live near one of the murals, you can still check out the video above, or purchase prints of the art here.