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Artists as Change Agents: Beyond Bellagio

Beyond Bellagio




THE AWARDEES | 2014-2015

The Alliance of Artists Communities is pleased to announce the inaugural awardees for “Artists as Change Agents: Beyond Bellagio” Tiziana Panizza from Santiago, Chile, for her project Solitary Land; and Samir Parker from Thane, India, for his project roof/tarp/city. Each artist will receive a $20,000 award, made possible through a grant to the Alliance of Artists Communities from The Rockefeller Foundation.

The Alliance of Artists Communities is proud to support these two important projects through this initiative, ensuring that critical issues of social and global change will have further reach and the artists will have greater influence capacity.

The artists were selected by a panel of esteemed advisors, including:

  • Dan Cameron, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
  • Kemi Ilesanmi, Laundromat Project, New York, NY
  • Artur Silva, artist, Indianapolis, IN
  • Joe Smoke, City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, CA
  • Sixto Wagan, University of Houston, Houston, TX
  • Sacha Yanow, ArtMatters Foundation, New York, NY

[ read the full press release ]


Tiziana Panizza’s project focuses on the world premiere of her documentary Solitary Land on Easter Island, sharing its cinematographic experience with the local community. In addition, there will also be a discussion panel and two filmmaking workshops for children and prisoners, encouraging understanding between Chileans and Rapanuis on the most remote island in the world.

The documentary Tierra Sola (Solitary Land) reflects upon Easter Island as a Chilean Colony, focusing on its legal system. The prison on the island has no walls or watchtowers this is perhaps the only jail in the world that operates with an open door policy, and no one has ever escaped. Where would a fugitive go on the most remote island on the planet? There are fourteen inmates and fourteen guards, who are either friends or family members. This particular community will change dramatically with the construction of a new prison building. Solitary Land focuses on the present day jail, but also shares some of Chile’s painful history. Easter Island is currently seeking independence from Chile and the conflict has become violent; this documentary mirrors the tension between these two worlds. The world premier on Easter Island and the workshops at the local museum and in the prison will be an opportunity to share and reflect upon these issues with the local community.

[ See Tiziana's work here and her project report here ]

Tiziana Panizza

“As a documentary filmmaker and academic at the University of Chile, I believe in the cross fertilization of films and the engagement with communities, with a focus on the processes of change in Latin America, characterized by a commitment to the pursuit of new expressive possibilities in cinematic language.”

Tiziana Panizza

SAMIR PARKER (THANE, INDIA) | roof/tarp/city

The last two decades have seen rapid growth in the city of Mumbai. The economic and social divide is reinforced by the stark contrast in habitation. New developments tower over sprawling settlements. Roof/tarp/city will reinforce a sense of locational identity and pride in some of the more marginalized areas of Mumbai. Most structures in these areas are hand-built out of brick, cement, metal-sheets and a variety of recycled materials. The rooftops are dominated by blue tarpaulin sheets spread over existing structures, designed to keep out the rain. The artist will complete a roofscape patchwork using digital prints on PVC Flex, recycled from the billboards above. Involving local community members and stakeholders, the artist will map the area and produce a graphic of over 10,000 square meters that is truly urban in scale and context. Taking a highly visible yet neglected topography of the city as its canvas, roof/tarp/city seeks to transform it for those who live both within and outside of its footprint.

Samir Parker is intrigued by the mythic cities we create within the actual cities we inhabit. Cities generate aspirational images of themselves shaped by ancient legends and contemporary politics that are often stubbornly at odds with reality. Through drawing, photo-collage and writing, the artist will create a graphic narrative that is culturally and politically responsive, a work of public art that reflects how our destinies are shaped by our fantasies. Parker hopes to provoke new spaces to emerge from the teeming density of perpetual aspiration and loneliness in this city of dreams. “Looking out onto this tattered vista of chemical blue, dotted with periscope like satellite dishes, one can imagine a lost city below -- a map to an Atlantis just beyond which literally and figuratively inverts the perspective of the city and offers hope for a different, more inclusive future.”

[ See Samir's work here and his project report here ]

Samir Parker

“This project does not imagine it can bridge the divides in the city. We only demonstrate that our ideas and ability to adapt and provoke make us resilient. The narrative of Mumbai shall not be defined by the most privileged, but subverted by the most inventive.”

Samir Parker

QUESTIONS? This project is managed by the Alliance of Artists Communities. Questions about eligibility, guidelines, applications, and other details should be directed to the Alliance at or 401-351-4320.

Learn more about the Bellagio Center at