Ever since 2005, “The Ship of Tolerance” has been traveling the globe. It all started in the Egyptian Oasis of Siwa where Ilya and Emilia Kabakov (Ukrainian-American couple) launched their art / education project tailored towards children: A ship was built, its sail made of tens of paintings about tolerance and diversity made by local children.
The children –who never had any art classes before- were given classes on drawing, given waterproof paint and invited to paint something that reflect their view of the community in which they lived. The kids were so excited to participate, and even more excited to see a boat (some of them had never seen any) sailing a saltwater lake in their oasis with the paintings that they created hanging from the mast.
The ship is built from scratch every time the project moves to a new country, and cities are chosen were strong economic, political, social or cultural conflicts or challenges are present, so that ‘an answer’ could be formulated by children through their art, which ‘sails’ the Ship of Tolerance. Venice, St Moritz, Manchester, Sharjah and Miami are among the ‘harbors’ that hosted the ship, with children from every color, race, cultural background and socio-economic stratum participating in the project and engaging in discussion about humanity.
Here is the official website of the project where you can follow the updates, see the photos, and read more about the concept: