ShadowmanVan.org Starts Its Engine!
(January 1, 2019)
Inspired by artist Richard Hambleton’s 1977 Chevy ice-cream-truck-turned-sculpture, the Shadowman Van project imagines a new type of humanitarian effort that encourages communities to create, collaborate, and realize their collective dreams.
Those communities currently include:
* Nakivale, Uganda, where over 100,000 refugees from a dozen countries are devising their own solutions.
* Kyebando, Uganda, where residents of a Kampala ghetto are taking on poverty and pollution.
* Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where over half a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are acquiring new skills.
ShadowmanVan.org Creative Activists share their stories through photo essays and short videos. Besides giving project updates, supporters connect with one other and discover how to volunteer and contribute.
Check under the hood at ShadowmanVan.org.
New magazine celebrates (among other things)
Community, Conservation and Co-Creation
(June 1, 2018) Gstaad and Monaco
Re;source, a new analog and digital magazine co-created by to.org and The Alpina Gstaad debuts today. Within its 16-page format you’ll find information on a range of projects, initiatives and products which venture beyond sustainability, into the world of tomorrow, many which can be experienced on-site at the hotel. To join in commemorating The Alpina Gstaad’s 5th anniversary year, the magazine tells compelling stories about how the world can be made a better place. To.org is passionately interested in conservation and community.
There’s news on the Shadowman van, a global effort by to.org to build community centers in refugee camp neighborhoods in Uganda and Bangladesh. There are profiles on socially impactful chocolates and fashion made from upcycled ocean plastics. Within the magazine’s pages you’ll learn about The Alpina Gstaad’s sustainability efforts in water and energy conservation, production of its own honey, and even interesting details about the materials of construction used at the property. Feature articles describe artworks created or displayed, like the temporary ‘Pablo’ installation atop Glacier 3000 in 2017, and heroic scale photography which addresses our complicated relationship with water.
Re;source was designed in Zürich at Gottschalk + Ash In'tl by the legendary Swiss graphic designer Fritz Gottschalk, who created the iconic national passport in 1985. Re;source magazine was published under the stewardship of Nachson Mimran, Chairman of The Alpina Gstaad.
To download a PDF copy of re;source, click here. (PDF 1.9 Mo)
The Shadowman Van is a vehicle driving a creative vision.
It was first an automotive vehicle which sold ice creams.
It was a vehicle which delighted children.
It was a place where people gathered, met friends, engaged in joyful play.
Then it became a work of art.
Shadowman has since become a portal, a conduit, a channel.
An opportunity for dialog between the Alpina, its friends and co-creators.
To.org is building replicas of the van to serve as community centers in refugee camps in Bangladesh and Uganda.
The vans are built from locally sourced materials by local talent.
The vans are gathering places which give shade, shelter, space for realizing dreams.
They may be used as an educational hub, a marketplace, a musical space, a distribution point.
In collaboration with to.org and The Alpina, the local people define the use of the replica vans.
Shadowman is now a vehicle which helps grow relationships.
It crosses borders, connects nationalities, professions, social groups.
It has become a vehicle which drives inspiration, co-creation, sharing and collaboration.
Shadowman van rising in Uganda
(Kampala, Uganda) Construction of the first Shadowman van community center is in progress in collaboration with our friends at RISE at the Uhuru site near the Nakivale refugee camp outside Kampala. These photos showing progress on the structure were taken in the first week of May 2018. The replica van, made of locally-sourced materials, has recycled bottle walls, and is an upscaled version of the actual van’s shape. Solar panels will drive lighting, ceiling fans and media equipment. Local talent is employed in the construction. The Shadowman vans are gathering places intended to give shade, shelter and space for realizing dreams.
An Evening for Shadowman
On February 15, 2018, Shadowman moved temporarily from its installation space in the entry tunnel of The Alpina Gstaad to the hotel’s front entrance for a benefit event called “An Evening for Shadowman.” The event included a fashion show, collaborations with young Ugandan designers and introduced to.org’s initiative to build its first center in Uganda.
Uhuru, site of the Uganda Shadowman, shown in January 2018 before the start of construction. Currently, the first Shadowman van community center is in progress in collaboration with our friends at RISE.
Light To Learn
Light To Learn is an initiative that highlights the positive impact of investment in Africa’s sustainable power and education, and the importance of developing both sectors as they propel Liberia and the continent towards a better and brighter future.
While 80% of the world’s population has access to electricity, only 30% of the African population enjoys this benefit. Today, almost 600 million inhabitants live without electricity, particularly in rural areas. In some countries such as Liberia, there is virtually no access to electricity except by petrol generators.
In May 2016, Nachson and Arieh saw the opportunity to start a campaign around education and energy; they introduced the founders of Bridge International Academies to the founders of Solektra with the “Akon Lighting Africa” initiative. The idea was for Solektra to power Bridge schools in several African countries, so that schoolchildren could be provided with the light they need to learn. The partnership’s initial “Light To Learn” campaign aimed to address the energy and education crisis in Africa.
This story begins in tragedy and ends in hope. The unlikely main character is a young bearded vulture named Pablo, who was able to find his way home thanks to the dedicated efforts of concerned humans. A 2007 conservation program re-introduced bearded vultures to the region. It was the appearance of the young vulture named Pablo in 2015 which inspired an art installation at La Quille du Diable, Glacier 3000, near Gstaad.
The Zürich-based LUMA Foundation, established by Maja Hoffmann, originated an art initiative co-curated by Olympia Scarry and Neville Wakefield. Called Elevation 1049, 12 works were commissioned, among them one by the Danish collaborative trio Superflex, who made their reputation by dramatizing social concerns.
Superflex concepted a temporary installation: a totemic sculpture crafted by Swiss artisans. A turtle tops the sculpture, and carved demonic masks based on local folklore occupy the sides. To memorialize the event, Superflex and TO: produced a limited edition 21-minute film called The Return of Pablo. It can be viewed on the in-room Art Channel at The Alpina Gstaad.
Later in 2017 an activation event at The Alpina brought together a gathering of international citizens. Pablo served as the centerpiece for attendees, who focused their attention on solution-building for global challenges.
Here is a 14 -minute documentary about The Making of Pablo.
Runa was founded in 2009, days after we graduated from college. But our story begins several years earlier, when Tyler was living with the Kichwa people in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It was then he was introduced to guayusa – a naturally caffeinated tree leaf brewed like tea, consumed early in the morning to help interpret dreams and late at night to provide energy and clarity while hunting in the jungle. He loved the earthy flavor, smooth taste, and energy boost he got from the leaf.