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Ripple Effect: Exhibition to Highlight Damaging Impact of Asian Development Bank (ADB) Projects



Tbilisi, Georgia - Coinciding with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Annual Meeting this year, the "Ripple Effect" exhibition is set to occur in Tbilisi, Georgia, from May 1-5, 2024. This exhibition seeks to illuminate the adverse impacts of ADB projects on both the environment and human rights.


The exhibition serves as a potent platform for communities affected by ADB-funded projects to voice their grievances and advocate for change through the compelling medium of watercolor. Artists illustrate the interconnectedness of environmental degradation, social injustice, and human rights violations caused by ADB activities through evocative paintings.


Rayyan Hassan, Executive Director of NGO Forum on ADB, remarked, "At its core, the 'Ripple Effect' exhibition seeks to expose the devastating consequences of ADB projects on local communities and ecosystems. Through the expressive power of watercolor, we hope to spark meaningful dialogue, raise awareness, and ultimately drive positive change."


Indira Shreesh, from the Indigenous Women Legal Awareness Group (INWOLAG), underscored the significance of the exhibition, asserting, "Justice delayed is justice denied. The 'Ripple Effect' exhibition provides a crucial platform for indigenous women to share their lived experiences and highlight the disproportionate impact of ADB projects on indigenous communities."


Manana Kochladze, Strategic area leader of CEE Bankwatch Network, commented on the exhibition's importance, stating, "The Indorama Agro cotton project, supported by international financial institutions including the ADB, has been an unmitigated disaster for labour and land rights in Uzbekistan. The Bank should ensure thorough due diligence and meaningful stakeholder engagement to prevent human rights abuses while investing in countries with a democratic deficit or sectors with high environmental and social risks."


The exhibition seeks to raise awareness by depicting the realities of ADB-funded projects, illuminating their human and ecological impacts.


"Through images and colors, these artworks give voice to communities who are often silenced," says Mark Fodor, coordinator of the Defenders in Development campaign. "Despite ADB's commitments to ensure public participation, local communities and defenders who try to speak out are often ignored or attacked. In other cases, the pervasive climate of fear makes it virtually impossible to conduct consultations around the projects, as people are too afraid to speak out. We hope that these artworks will act as a powerful reminder that protecting freedom of expression is key to advancing a truly sustainable, human rights-based, and community-led development."


The "Ripple Effect" exhibition will commence on May 1, 2024, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Tbilisi, Chavchavadze, followed by an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Art, 7 Shota Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi, Georgia. Admission to the exhibition is free from May 2 to May 5, 2024.  You can also see the exhibition online at https://www.forum-adb.org/ripplefx


 

About the organizers:


NGO Forum on ADB | The NGO Forum on ADB is a network of civil society organizations (CSOs) based in Asia and the Pacific that monitors the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) and  Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank  (AIIB) projects, programs, and policies. The goal is to hold the ADB accountable for the impacts of its projects and policies. The NGO Forum on ADB has held the ADB accountable since 1992. 


Coalition for Human Rights in Development | The Coalition for Human Rights in Development is a global coalition of civil society organizations, social movements, and grassroots groups. The Coalition's goal is to ensure that all development finance institutions respect human rights.


CEE Bankwatch | CEE Bankwatch Network is a non-governmental organization that focuses on environmental and human rights issues in Central and Eastern Europe. The network was established in 1995 and has over 90 staff members in offices across the region, with its main headquarters in Prague.  CEE Bankwatch Network monitors the actions of international financial institutions, such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and exposes potential risks to the public. 


Green Alternatives | Green Alternative (GA) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Georgia that promotes sustainable development and protects the country's environment and cultural heritage. GA was founded in 2000 and is part of the CEE Bankwatch Network. 

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