Winds of Yawanawa on display at the World Economic Forum 2024 Opening Ceremony

New media artist Refik Anadol was selected by the Forum to orchestrate the 2024 Annual Forum opening ceremony and used the artwork as the basis of the performance. Joined at the Forum by Yawanawa Chiefs Nixiwaka, Putanny and Isku Kua, the artwork series was also a central focus of panel sessions and wider discussions on generative AI, nature and art with profound impact.
Transcending a traditional performance, Refik Anadol transformed the opening ceremony into an AI-driven immersive experience, serving as a vibrant testament to how art can awaken and mobilise our senses.
The performance was combined with a concert by multi-award-winning singer and activist Angelique Kidjo, that also featured French Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf, and the Brazilian singer, composer and guitarist Will Santt.

Winds of Yawanawa was created as part of Impact One’s Possible Futures programme, to help plant the seeds for a more integrative approach to sustainability in the future. Web3 technologies like blockchain and NFTs offer huge potential to facilitate new compensation models, decentralised economies, and tangible solutions for Indigenous autonomy and environmental protection. These technologies can be used to map, measure, safeguard, and regenerate forests, supporting conservation initiatives and local communities

Angelique Kidjo, Ibrahim Maalouf, and Will Santt in concert

Refik Anadol presenting the Winds of Yawanawa during ‘Dance of the Algorithm’ session

Offering insights into the artwork series, Refik presented Winds of Yawanawa as part of the Forum’s ‘Dance of the Algorithm’ session, alongside Yawanawa Chiefs Nixiwaka and Putanny. Central to the creative process of the works are the Yawanawa sisters Nawashahu and Mukashahu, whose drawings form the visual foundation of Winds
of Yawanawa.

Yawanawa Chiefs Putanny and Nixiwaka

In parallel to the expressions of Yawanawa culture, the artworks’ movements and composition are dictated by data displaying the weather patterns surrounding the Yawanawa sacred village of Aldeia Sagrada. The information flows into Refik Anadol’s algorithms, to turn the pieces into representations of the deep-rooted relationship between the community and the forest. The resulting data paintings become a living and dynamically evolving illustration of the Yawanawa identity and the community’s connection to their Amazonian land, which is a fundamental ecosystem for all of humanity.

“I’m happy to say that this became the most successful blockchain project. And the funds go to the Yawanawa family for the Chiefs’ dreams and to preserve the forest, preserve their cultures. I’m deeply honoured today to innovate this unique work together.”— Refik Anadol

Winds of Yawanawa is a transformative project at the convergence of technology, arts and environmental science and sets a global standard for how we interact with and preserve our natural worlds, for the advancement of our planet and well-being.

Winds of Yawanawa at the World Economic Forum 2024

Winds of Yawanawa, the first-of-its-kind artwork series co-created by Refik Anadol and the Yawanawa and commissioned by Impact One, was put on display to an international audience of the world’s leading figures at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2024.

For the opening ceremony of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum
2024 in Davos, Refik Anadol presents Winds
of Yawanawa.

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