Macalester has commissioned Ta-coumba Aiken, an internationally renowned local public artist and activist, to create a campus inspired mural of global citizenship on the 3rd floor of the Institute for Global Citizenship. Ta-coumba works in an inclusive style and sees his work as a visual voice for communities and a vehicle for enlightenment and change. He is able to take the vision and ideas of others and pull them into a collective visual image.
The Institute for Global Citizenship at Macalester College has several pieces of art in the building that reflect the cultural history of the twin cities and we wanted to do something educational and inspirational with the unique architectural feature of the domed wall on the 3rd floor. Global citizenship is in a sense personal -- you have to own it and enact it yourself. But first you have to imagine what that means for you. This project is another way of encouraging people to examine what global citizenship means -- in a nonverbal, visual expression. The project is meant to be collaborative in it's creation and inspiring as a final product.
Global citizens connect with others across boundaries. They have a vision and a drive to contribute to a larger good that is realized through these diverse interactions of culture, opinion, background and belief. The mural will create a dialogue to celebrate differences and similarities, helping us see the individual as part of a larger whole that is more dynamic, viable and creative. Global citizens are knowledgeable, make connections and contribute by finding creative solutions that are inclusive and sustainable. They see the layers of history that they are a part of and recognize their impact on the story that is being made currently. Ta-coumba's work is collaborative, multidimensional, honors the past and inspires the future exemplifying global citizenship visually.