Public parks, clean water, freedom from diseases, balanced weather, self-sufficiency: what do you hope the future will hold? Brooklyn-based Ethiopian artist Ezra Wube brings a vibrant collective vision to the screens of Times Square with Possible World (2021). The painted animation was inspired by interviews Wube conducted with over 100 people across Ethiopia. Wube brings to life his subjects’ dreams for a sustainable world in verdant scenes of abundance and interconnectedness that spill across the screens.
Wube takes these conversations to a global stage in Times Square, where Possible World asks the public to meditate on an environmentally just and sustainable future in New York City, a coastal city particularly susceptible to climate change. Coinciding with Climate Week NYC from September 20-26, Possible World is a means to consider our coexisting conditions and to support a communal dialogue for environmental solutions.
“Growing up in a country where over 80% of the population's livelihood depends on agriculture—mostly rain-fed—its socioeconomic dependency is extremely vulnerable to the rapid climate change we are facing. I chose to explore the subject as a means to investigate and learn about these conditions, and to have a communal dialogue of possible solutions. I’m inspired in creating work through community engagement where individuals' voices can be a potential catalyst for actions to develop a sustainable world.”
— Ezra Wube, artist
Possible World is part of Fast Forward, Little Sun’s series of short films exploring five artists’ dreams for a regenerative world, which is also available to view on digital video channel NOWNESS. The series turns an often data-driven and technically heavy conversation surrounding the global energy crisis into an open, intimate dialogue, creating accessible stories and new motivation for change. Watch the full Fast Forward series at littlesun.org/fastforward.
This is Ezra Wube’s second presentation through the Midnight Moment program, following his November 2013 presentation of At the Same Moment. An animated love letter to New York City, At The Same Moment featured a hand painted collection of memories of Wube’s daily journey throughout the city.
ABOUT EZRA WUBE
Ezra Wube (b. 1980) is a mixed-media artist raised in Ethiopia and currently living and working in Brooklyn. Wube’s work references the notion of past and present, the constant changing of place, and the dialogical tensions between ‘here’ and ‘there.’ Wube is a veteran of Times Square’s Midnight Moment series, and his exhibition City Stories was recently on view at The High Line, NYC. His work has been shown at the Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju, South Korea; Museum of the Moving Image, Queens, NY; the 13th Biennial de Lyon, Lyon, France; Dak’Art 2014 Biennale, Dakar, Senegal; the 18th International Festival of Contemporary Art SESC_Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brazil. His residencies and awards include LMCC Workspace Residency Program, the Drawing Center, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and the Triangle Arts Association Residency, all in New York. Wube received his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and an MFA from Hunter College.
ABOUT LITTLE SUN
Established in 2012 by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, Little Sun is a nonprofit organization working to deliver affordable clean energy and inspire climate action. Little Sun distributes energy tools, designs and implements renewable energy programs, and leads citizen engagement campaigns globally, partnering with solar experts, artists, companies, governments, communities and nonprofits to achieve universal access to clean energy. Little Sun has helped provide power and light to over 3.2 million people who would not otherwise have access to it. Their work has reduced 800,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions and saved households living beyond the energy grid $150 million in energy expenses. Little Sun has offices in New York, Berlin, Addis Ababa, and Lusaka.