The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, inaugurated the art exhibition "On Common Ground - Dominican Republic and Haiti" Wednesday evening at the Museum of the Americas in Washington, DC.
In his address, Secretary General Insulza stressed that "culture is an unbreakable bridge that serves nations not only by forging new ties, but in particular by deepening relationships and broadening the ties of understanding and friendship that countries are always seeking in their aspirations for greater integration."
He added that "while the Dominican Republic and Haiti are indeed culturally, socially and economically diverse, 'On Common Ground' examines historical and present-day commonalities that continue to shape identities across generations."
The Ambassador of Haiti to the United States, Paul Altidor, stressed that it is the first time there is "a bi-national exhibition of contemporary art from Haiti and the Dominican Republic," and said that the show "reflects the aspirations of both countries to move forward in their relationship, thus it is only fitting that we would present contemporary works of art from emerging artists pointing us in the direction of a fruitful future."
Anibal de Castro, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the United States, said that both countries "share a common history, but more importantly, we share a vision for the future." "We stand with Haiti in the efforts to secure sustainable human and economic development," said the Dominican diplomat, noting that the artists who contributed to the exhibition represent "the desire to engage in a dialogue" between the two countries.
The exhibition features works by emerging artists, offers a fresh perspective on the island's cultural scene and reviews concepts, sometimes erroneous, surrounding the relationship between the two nations. The project was funded almost entirely by the embassy of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to the White House.
Present at the opening of the exhibition were the Deputy Minister of Culture of the Dominican Republic, Carlos Salcedo; United States Representative Charles Rangel, and Permanent Representatives of the OAS Member States.
"On Common Ground" is coordinated by Gaelle Monnin, and advances the purpose of the Museum of the Americas to contribute to the objectives of the Inter-American agenda of promoting democracy and social change through the arts, consensus building and the promotion of diversity. The exhibition runs until May 26.
A gallery of photos of the event is available here.
The video of the event is available here.
The audio of the event is available here.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.