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The Cradle Project The Cradle Project
by Alexandra Pereira
2008-02-27 09:59:04
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The Cradle Project seeks to fill an abandoned warehouse (former train station) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with one thousand cradles and cribs made by artists from around the world, in June 2008.

As a fundraising art installation, The Cradle Project seeks to bring awareness on the 48 million children who have been orphaned by war, famine, diseases (there are 12 million orphans – this number will raise to 18.4 million in four years – who lost at least one parent due to HIV/AIDS) and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Cradle will donate to its partner organizations the result of the online auction it is hosting, where any of the cradles created, all made out of scrap material, can be purchased.

The Cradle Project is still looking for both artists (deadline April 15th 2008) and sponsors for each of the cradles presented in this exhibition. The goal of gathering a minimum of 1,000 cradles made out of scrap is closely related to an interesting and very symbolic seminal idea: “If we can see enough potential in a piece of scrap to make a structure which cradles a child, why can we not see that much potential in our world’s forgotten children?”

cot3This project was born after photographer Naomi Natale visited Kenya four years ago and got in touch with the lives of Kenyan children and the brutal reality of African orphans, as well as the HIV/AIDS epidemic. “I made a commitment to myself that I was going to come back not just as a photographer, but to bring some tangible support”, she says.

The empty cradles represent the lost potential of these children who have been forgotten by the world and the high number of those who lost their mothers. For artists themselves, it has also been incredibly cathartic to produce these works – such pieces are a fantastic challenge and an amazing opportunity to reflect on destruction, death and rebirth - besides serving as an excellent excuse to make a difference.

Juxtaposed to the cradles there will be a wall of slowly falling sand, representing how these lives and potentials are all being buried. Another praise-worthy goal of The Cradle Project is to encourage educators around the USA to organize the building of class cradles (Cradles for Hope Initiative), as a tool for young students to learn and become aware of important global affairs which involve and affect their peers, expressing their imagination/ideas individually and collectively. I wonder if this could not be extended or done in many classrooms around the world.

“The idea of transforming potential into actuality is fundamental to all aspects of The Cradle Project […] every participant in this project is committing to learn and to imagine, to connect themselves to the greater global population, and to transform hope into creativity and community awareness.”

A final message from the organization:The Cradle Project was created to shed light on these staggering and horrifying realities. We hope that this project will move people to action. Without action these forgotten children will become yet another statistic; their talents and potential will never be realized. We hope you will consider the plight of these children and contribute to The Cradle Project.”

You can get additional information on this project, as well as some previous exhibition images of cradles received by November last year, here:

www.thecradleproject.org

To learn more about the project or if you would like to volunteer by giving your time, talents or expertise, please contact:

The Cradle Project
1937 Truman NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110

505-554-2086
nnatale@cradleproject.org


    
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Chris2008-02-29 21:09:03
Thank you for this. It is a noble effort. The Earth cradles us all -- good idea to offer rememberance.


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