SIIF 2021 exhibition : Restart

This illustration was made at the height of the pandemic for an Indonesian exhibition created as part of SIIF – Semarang International Illustration Festival 2021. The theme: “Restart”.

Because all activity is on hold at this time, articles flourish in the newspapers explaining that nature is reclaiming its rights, and that the unprecedented calm is attracting, for example, animals to towns or dolphins to ports.

Here, a masked man and woman overturn an hourglass. Now that life is on hold, the two representatives of humanity wish to reverse their priorities. The houses, trees and sea present (the new life) in the upper bubble are opposed by factories and a nuclear power station (the old life) in the lower bubble. This duality is also expressed in the choice to use only two contrasting colors.

As the man appears to be pushing the bubble symbol of life upward, one can assume a desire to place human and animal welfare above economic prosperity, and to replace old life with new. Because the economy must serve humanity, and not the other way around.

Indeed, many are those who, during the pandemic, have (again) become aware of the urgency of living (because life can hang by a thread). Many people have noticed that our economic frenzy takes us away from real life, the one that deserves to be lived.

There are still many who have noticed that everything could stop overnight, with immediate benefits for nature. Earth Overshoot Day has also moved back for the first time. In 2020 it was marked on August 22, while in 2019 it was marked on July 26.

This utopian illustration symbolizes various teachings from COVID-19:

  • Humanity must reevaluate its priorities;
  • Humanity must take care of the Earth;
  • Humanity is obviously fine when humans limit their interventions;
  • Humans have the ability to change their behavior quickly in the face of  catastrophe;
  • Life must resume, or restart, in a different way.
Collaboration :SIIF 2021