The stories behind the Ethics Center greeting cards

Memoria Historica, 2004
Artist: Hector Alcides Garcia Garcia

The Center has recently designed four greeting cards displaying work by artists and organizations that have partnered with the Center in the past. Read below to find out more about the artists and the works they created.

Special thanks to Wen-Ti Tsen for his time and effort in making this project possible.

In December 1981, El Salvador's bloody and protracted civil war found the village of El Mozote in the Morazán district, where over 750 men, women, and children in and around the village were brutally murdered by the Salvadoran Army. Though the war eventually claimed at least 70,000 lives, the massacre at El Mozote has been described as the worst atrocity in modern Latin American history.

In 2004-05, a group of artists ages 11 to 22 worked in collaboration with Ecclesial Base Communities (CEBES) from the North of Morazán in the recovery of memories provided by the elders of more than 40 communities. These memories narrate the history of the area before, during, and after the armed conflict and the civil war in El Salvador. Memoria Historica is one of the woodcuts created to accompany the written collection of testimonies.

The School of Art and Open Studio of Perquin is a community and collaborative art project that engages all inhabitants of Perquin, El Salvador in a variety of art projects from collaborative mural painting to public and urban art. The School of Art has become a means of conflict resolution in a postwar zone.

Mother's Grief, 2006
Artist: Kim Berman, co founder of Artist Proof Studio, 2003-04 Brandeis International Fellow

"This work is a tribute to mothers who have lost children. The images is of women standing in their grief, staring into a ravaged and burnt-out landscape. The journey is despair, yet there is strength in their support of each other and hope through the light on the horizon. The healing come in looking for the light: the holding, touching, and the standing next to."

-Kim Berman

Artist Proof Studio (APS) is a community-based printmaking studio situated in the Newtown Cultural Precinct of Johannesburg, South Africa. With its state-of-the-art equipment and expert staff, APS offers intensive training programs in printmaking to young artists from historically disadvantaged communities and organizes exchange programs with local and international printmakers. APS also coordinates art-related poverty relief and AIDS awareness projects throughout South Africa.

Voting Freely, 2004
Artists: Reyum Art School Collective

Voting Freely is one of 10 large murals painted by students in the arts school at Reyum to express their understanding of the meaning of democracy. The murals were displayed on temporary walls surrounding the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh while it was being renovated.

The Reyum Institute of Arts and Culture is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to Cambodian arts and culture. Reyum was founded in December 1998 by Ly Daravuth and the late Ingrid Muan – two of the 2003-04 Brandeis International Fellows – in order to provide a forum for research, preservation, and promotion of traditional and contemporary Cambodian arts and culture. Through exhibitions, events, and publications, Reyum aims to stimulate an exchange of ideas while fostering creative expressions and encouraging further research.

We Can Always Undo Our Mistakes, 2006
Artist: Wen-ti Tsen

"This is based on the West African adinkira symbol of a double image of the Sankofa, a bird moving forward while turning around to retrieve a tail feather, meaning: 'It is not wron to turn back and fetch what you forgot,' or, 'We can always undo our mistakes.'"

Wen-ti Tsen was born in China and grew up in France and England. He came to the United States to study painting at the Boston Museum School. He now does installations and public art works that often center on using art to make connections among people and communities. Tsen designed the adinkira symbol for the face of the building that houses the Boston Arts Academy in 2004, while he was an artist-in-residence there. In 2005, he worked with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center to design a replica of a mural that was lost when a building was demolished three years earlier. The replica, a 60-by-80-inch photo reproduction of the mural, is located in the lobby of the BCNC's new building and is visible from the street.

On the occasion of the millennium, Tsen was chosen to create a "sculptural plaza" in Yakima Valley, Washington, that would bring together all segments of the community to "reflect on the last thousand years and to view the next thousand."