AGAINST RACISM COVER IMAGES: Maria-Carolina Cambre
Corazon Vivo (living heart) 2017, Aeropuerto Internacional Ministro Pistarini de Ezeiza, Buenos Aires AR
In 2005, the non-profit Favaloro Foundation, dedicated to cardiac research, launched a mega solidarity challenge in Argentina. Almost 200 amateur and professional artists were chosen from submitted proposals and via invitations to create pieces using large fiberglass hearts in a massive studio open to the public. The solidarity event exhibited over 100 hearts that were auctioned off to support the work of the foundation, healing hearts. One of these, featured in this photo, was placed in the Buenos Aires international airport, Ezeiza. When I snapped the picture in 2017 it was sitting beside an exhibition sponsored by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) but was not included within it.
This heart had been painted in the colors of the Argentine flag, one can see the sky blue background at the top and bottom with the white band in between and the yellow for the sun in the center. Over time, wherever it first had been placed, it was covered with the names of people and places: expressions of love. A diversity of spaces and styles cover the sculpture and pedestal connecting to those who were compelled to leave a mark: an anarchic effusive gestures of connection and affection. As it shifted contexts between the solidarity effort with the heart foundation, to the efforts recognizing aid for refugees and the position of welcome at the airport, anti-racism is reflected in this sculpture interpellated by people from many times and places. It no longer belongs to one nation or one identity, and occupies a space of transition, and indistinct zone engendering possibilities for openness. Anti-racism leads with the heart, vulnerable and open to change, allowing itself to hear and feel the stories and voices and others, validating them and respecting their dignity.