A year back, August 25, 2018, to be precise, a group of 12 artists from India, Germany, Kenya, United Kingdom, Uganda, Argentina, and Kosovo came together on what would be called The Great African Caravan, traversing through Cape Town, South Africa, Cairo, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan. The motive? To promote peace, celebrate cultural diversity and embracing the spirit of global citizenship in the face of the partisan interests of global powers. By Shubhanjana Das

With an objective to collaborate with local artists, The Great African Caravan resolved to create art beyond borders and showcase it in front of an audience to portray the sheer strength that inter-cultural art bears. We wonder how collaboration with 200 artists from over 9 countries making 70 pieces of art of different genres must have impacted not just the concerned culture but also the diversity that TGAC travelled with.

What does it take for a journey and an expedition like this to kick off? An initial sponsorship that provided the group of diverse, young travellers with three vehicles, but no monetary funding. It was through the sole dependence on the generosity and benevolence of the partners of the country that The Great African Caravan travelled to and through that a distance of a gargantuan 12,000 km sq was covered.

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Day #-57, January 15, 2019. Nairobi, Kenya For the visual arts collaboration in Nairobi, Shikhant teamed up with Chella and Dina who are part of Graffiti Girls Kenya. They spent two days coming up with a concept and executing it. Karen Village, which has been our host throughout our stay in Nairobi, provided us with a wall to work with and Crown Paints – If You Like It, Crown It gave us the paint to use. We are grateful to both of them for believing in what we are trying to do and contributing to the cause. To quote Shikhant on what the experience was like, '…Amidst long conversations about art, pollution, politics and being a female artist in the city, we also has some time to be goofy and crack lame jokes about our cultures. This piece was made in lines with our SDG goal in Kenya, i.e Climate Action. It was glad to see people watching and having conversations as we painted the wall' Tell us, when you look at this mural, what's your interpretation of the message it's trying to convey? #unborder #SDGsCaravan ———- International artistic project working with local organisations in 12 African countries for 200 days with the aim to connect change makers and take creative actions towards the Global Goals. We are currently in #Nairobi, #Kenya partnering with Karen Village. Here's how you can join in and support us: http://bit.ly/GACdonate #Unborder #SDGsCaravan #BeyondBorders #UnitedNations2030 #Agenda2030 #CapetoCairo #Kenya #MahindraAdventure

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Concluding their journey on 16th March, what inspires us about The Great African Caravan’s journey is the underlying message it bore and conveyed through the art, the adventure, and the travel across Africa’s unexplored countries. As virgin landscapes passed through, people from different cultures and with varying values came across, largely held stereotypes that cloud Africa were shattered, sending across a message that travelling essentially stands for the unification of every kind, as one human family. It takes extreme adaptation and perseverance to truly adopt and adapt to the flow of things as they unfolded.

After all, if the superpowers are failing to bring unity within this human family, why not take a step forward and make an effort, an artistic one, in this case, to do so ourselves? The world is a small place, right?

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