In a time of great worry and confusion brought by interconnected global crises, art has a power to provide not only comfort from anxiety, but also to spark hope and action. This is the goal of Sketching4Change, an annual, month-long art challenge that encourages people to stop and reflect on issues that affect everyone in our Common Home.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’, the art challenge will be continued in May with the theme Drawing Laudato Si’. Daily prompts will be taken from passages of the encyclical to encourage participants to share how its message is present in their daily life, and to draw inspiration in caring for our Common Home.
Part of Together for Change, a collaborative project of Casa Velha Associação – Ecologia e Espiritualidade, Faith and Cooperation Foundation (Fundação Fé e Cooperação or FEC) and CIDSE, Sketching4Change was first launched in October 2019 with the theme On the Way with Amazon. Participants around the world shared their art online as a way to stand in solidarity with the Amazon Synod by promoting personal and collective awareness on how our lifestyles affect the Amazon and the world as a whole.
The online art challenge was also a way to virtually walk with two volunteers from Casa Velha who travelled from Ourém, Portugal to Rome, Italy from 6 to 27 October, Laudato Si’ style. Embracing and promoting simplicity and integral ecology, volunteers Laura Marques and Madalena Meneses travelled on foot, by train, and by car through eight countries where families, friends, and communities hosted them and who were also moving towards integral ecology.
Ecojesuit once again encourages all who are interested to take part in Sketching4Change, through sketches, paintings, sculptures, photos, or poetry. The process is simple: 31 prompts will be given through the Ecojesuit FB Page for people to reflect as starting points for their artwork. Participants are asked to post photos of their artworks on social media with the hashtags #Sketching4Change and #DrawingLaudatoSi.
While the sharing and interaction will be done virtually, it is hoped that by filling the online sphere with daily reminders that we share a common home, we can in turn fill the offline world with actions in response to our responsibility to care for creation and one another.
“The Spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore, from the very heart of things, something new can always emerge: ‘Nature is nothing other than a certain kind of art, namely God’s art, impressed upon things, whereby those things are moved to a determinate end. It is as if a shipbuilder were able to give timbers the wherewithal to move themselves to take the form of a ship.’” (Laudato Si’ 80)