heARTbeat: Ali Golzad Recycles Cardboard to Capture Empathy

ColumnHow civilized are we, really?

When artist, Ali Golzad was ten years old, he was forced to flee his native Iran, and live as an orphan in Sweden until he was reunited with his parents three years later. As a result, he has a strong affinity for the estimated twenty million traumatized and abused children who are displaced by armed conflicts or human rights violations around the world.

Golzad says:

To me the plight of child soldiers and children abused as sex slaves escapes notice in the civilized world which causes me to question how civilized we really are. To me, these are invisible people.

Golzad’s use of recycled cardboard to reveal these unseen victims has an uncanny effect on our emotions, and his.

I have struggled with my material to create images that are highly emotional. The three-dimensional shapes of the eyes, noses and mouths, the wrinkled clothing, and the shapes of the hands and arms, outlined with Sharpie-lines, are a result of my struggle with the cardboard to capture the empathy we would have for any enslaved people.

As his forgotten subjects imbue new life and meaning into cast-off materials, Golzad does so, so that we might see through his eyes into theirs. It is hard not to.

Eco, trends, art, creativity and how they tumble through social media to shape culture fascinate EcoSalon columnist Dominique Pacheco. Her trends blog, mixingreality, speaks to these topics daily, and here at EcoSalon, she takes a weekly look at the intersection of eco and art. We call it heARTbeat.

Dominique Pacheco

Dominique Pacheco is the author of EcoSalon's weekly heARTbeat column.