We Are the World is a series that features works by young artists who share the common ground of being multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multinational and are also alike that in none of them live in their home country for more than short periods at a time. Drawing on this pluralistic outlook, these creators tackle a series of common problems arising from the need to confront the past and the present by telling stories (real and/or fictional) that reveal their anxieties, hopes, cultural inheritance, political or social conflicts, and, last but not least, their reaction to the fact that they are part of the first real generation of ‘global youth’. The works by these artists offer deep reflections about youth in the world today, at the same time that they provide some perspective on the new world, one that rises above borders, nationalities and differences.
The numerous topics that appear in We Are the World include questions related to globalisation and, at times, the anomie inherent in dislocation and rootlessness (whether voluntary or not) for young artists in global cities. The interpretation of ancestral customs from the perspective of new modern rituals appears, for example, in the pieces Birth of a Geisha (2003) by Kimiko Yoshida (Japan/France) and Grabando mi futuro (2000-2001) by Olga Adelantado (Spain/Mexico), two artists who reflect on the past and future from the present. The sensation of estrangement in the face of the resemblance of global cities around the world and strategies for resignifying spaces according to new identities is looked at by, among other creators, Olga Kisseleva (Russia/France) in Where Are You? (2002), Cao Fei (China) in Hip Hop (2003) and Patricia Piccinini (Australia) in Sandman (2002). Finally, another of the major axes considered in the works in this programme is the space and displacement (physical and symbolic) produced by this global reality, found in works by artists like Jun Yang (China/Austria), Jonathan Calm (U.S.) and Mika Rottenberg (Israel/U.S.).
This series, in short, features a group of projects that offer a trip around the world at the same time that they articulate a reflection on the social, identity and generational aspects faced by young creators on the international scene.