The Future is Unwritten CULTURUNNERS

The Future is Unwritten

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The Future is Unwritten (TFIU) is a global initiative to rally the arts sector in UN implementation efforts. It facilitates cooperation between artists, cultural
institutions and United Nations Agencies in order to amplify and accelerate implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With leading UN agencies describing the recent pandemic as nature’s first ‘warning shot’ to civilizations playing with fire, global cultural action that contributes to the envisioning and shaping of a more resilient and sustainable future is now more urgent than ever.

The initiative was established by CULTURUNNERS in 2019 and publicly launched in 2020 in partnership with the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations as part of the UN’s 75th Anniversary Program, UN75. TFIU's 2020 program was presented in partnership with the Open Mind Project.

In November 2020, The Future is Unwritten launched the Healing Arts initiative as a global Covid-19 response through the arts; specifically to address the growing mental health crisis. Healing Arts is produced as part of the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Series of Events, incorporating a series of charity auctions in partnership with Christie's alongside a program of global city activations exploring the role of the arts in improved mental, societal and environmental health. All proceeds from the Healing Arts auctions benefit the WHO Foundation, supporting the urgently needed mental health response; and The Future is Unwritten Artist Response Fund, in partnership with the Blessed Foundation supporting artist-led projects that directly facilitate community healing and healthcare messaging on the frontline of the pandemic.

Project Films

UN75: Art in The Time of Coronavirus

Influential art world voices explore the role and value of art when facing systemic-level, global threats like COVID-19. This UN75 dialogue was held on Earth Day to highlight Coronavirus' connection to our ecological emergency.

UN75: Letters to the Earth

On Earth Day 2020, The Future is Unwritten took part in 'Letters to the Earth' by streaming ‘Letters of Love in a Time of Crisis’ for the global community to unite in watching and listening to responses to the global pandemic and a planet in crisis.

UN75: Medicine Men, The Art of Health

This UN75 Moderated Dialogue in partnership with the World Health Organization brought together physician artists and curators to explore the healing power of art as a driver for improved health, education and social justice at this critical time.

UN75: Rising Waters / Resilient Cultures

Following the postponement of the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, this discussion brought together voices from the world of art, architecture and advocacy to explore cultural resilience and the need for innovation and imagination in the face of rising sea levels.

UN75: Indigenous Voices / Listening for Tomorrow

This UN75 Moderated Dialogue brings together cultural leaders working with First Nation communities in the United States and Canada.

UN75: Countryside, The Future

Coinciding with the reopening of AMO’s seminal exhibition, Countryside, The Future, at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, this UN75 Dialogue addresses urgent environmental, political and socio-economic issues in rural contexts.

UN75: Architecture after Catastrophic Change

Beatrice Galilee, founder of The World Around, explores case studies that show how Designers, Architects and Thinkers can collaborate and rebuild in a Time of Crisis.

UN75: The Healing Power of Arts after Trauma & Conflict

This UN75 Dialogue explores the use of the arts and healing after violent conflict and trauma and focuses on a specific case study relating to the preservation of Yazidi culture following the ISIS genocide in 2014.

UN75: THE TIME IS NOW - Museums as Agents of Change

The Museum of the United Nations - UN Live, hosts a discussion between pioneering museum leaders from around the world on how the cultural sector can confront the most pressing social and environmental issues facing humanity.

UN75: The Pilgrimage and the Pandemic

The Pilgrimage & The Pandemic brings together voices from the world of Art and Health to discuss this year's Hajj in the context of COVID-19 and the role of creativity in faith and spirituality during times of societal anxiety.


TFIU Ghana Think Tank The American Riad
RS AR 057
MM TMI 001
TFIU Mel Chin Fundred Project
TFIU Hannah Thomas Tears of Gold
Chip Thomas 2 Culturunners
Mona Chalabi 4 Culturunners
Khalid Albaih Edge of Arabia 1

The American Riad
Ghana ThinkTank

American Riad was conceptualized by a think tank established in Morocco, which identified that many US problems stem from an architecture that creates social isolation. Participants looked at how Americans can adopt elements of Islamic and African culture to solve this problem in the US. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Open Mind Project.

Ark Re-imagined
Rashad Salim

Ark Re-imagined is an art-led project that has activated a revival of Iraq’s maritime cultural heritage. Since 2015, expeditionary artist and researcher Rashad Salim has worked with communities in central, southern and western Iraq to protect, document and revive their endangered craft heritage. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Open Mind Project.

The Main Idea
Matthew Mazzotta

WithThe Main Idea, Artist Matthew Mazzotta brings together communities and local governments with artists, architects and designers to transform failing downtowns into creative and sustainable spaces for new business and social life. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Open Mind Project.

Fundred Project
People of America, initiated by Mel Chin

Initiated by artist Mel Chin in 2006 as an interdisciplinary, artist-driven project to advance solutions to the devastating problem of lead poisoning, the Fundred Project has grown into a national effort powered by the people to raise awareness of the issues of lead and to create a model of engagement and action for lead-safe communities. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Open Mind Project.

Tears of Gold
Hannnah Thomas

Tears of Gold presents Hannah Thomas’s portrait paintings of Yezidi women who escaped ISIS captivity, Rohingya women who fled violence in Myanmar, and Nigerian women who survived Boko Haram and Fulani violence. Through her art Hannah gives voice to the voiceless, lionizes the isolated and prescribes dignity to the persecuted and forcibly displaced. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Open Mind Project.

The Painted Desert
Chip Thomas

The Painted Desert is a project for the people of the Navajo Nation in Arizona led by Dr. Chip Thomas. Utilizing large-scale public sites, local and international artists are invited to create messaging around the need for improved social cohesion and health on the reservation, where life expectancy is shorter and there are high rates of COVID-19 and health issues such as obesity, diabetes and suicide compared to national averages. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Open Mind Project.

Years Stolen
Mona Chalabi

Years Stolen is the work of artist and data journalist Mona Chalabi. Her data-driven illustrations present complex systems of information for mass public consumption, promoting equality and human rights and amplifying critical health messaging in order to create greater global health awareness and influence solutions to global issues. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Open Mind Project.

Desert of Pharan
Ahmed Mater

In Desert of Pharan, artist and physician Ahmed Mater merges his vocations to document the sustainability and health of the city of Mecca. As a hallowed site revered by millions and a point of perpetual immigration, in recent years the city has begun to be recast, reworked and ultimately reconfigured. The speed and breadth of transformation introduce dependent concerns regarding Mecca’s social mechanics and the ongoing and symbiotic relationship between demolition and construction. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Open Mind Project.

Khalid AlBaih

Khalid AlBaih's work, a confluence of journalism and art, first came to prominence during the Arab Spring. As one of the most influential Arab cartoonists of his generation, Khalid champions freedom of expression in the Arab world and beyond, commenting on subjects such as immigration, race, power, conflict and identity. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Open Mind Project.


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Bridges Tour

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