Republic of YOUmanity, a new fundraising initiative set up by photographer and author Maryam Eisler, arts patrons Maria Sukkar and Shirley Elghanian, and award-winning photographer David Taggart, is launching today. Shops around Kensington and Chelsea, closed because of the second nationwide lockdown, have been transformed into a collaborative pop-up gallery displaying giant prints of Taggart’s photographs. Aiming to unite the local community during a time of isolation and disconnection, this new initiative was conceived only 36 hours before the latest nationwide lockdown, and will run until 13 December 2020, with all proceeds from the sale of limited edition prints going towards our projects at the Trust. This initiative is generously supported by the Youmanity Charitable Organisation.
Republic of YOUmanity creators urge people to look at humanity beyond conventional definitions of geographical, religious, or cultural borders, and instead focus on the importance of community.
“We should be concentrating on humanity and the qualities that make us human, namely compassion, inclusivity and empathy, during this time of disconnectedness and isolation,” says Maryam Eisler, herself a professional photographer. “Art has the power to connect us all, enabling dialogue. It’s time to put traditional limitations aside and concentrate on helping one another and coming together as a community.”
Participating retailers include interior design firm Linley, jewellers Laurence Coste, designers Catherine Prevost and Melissa Odabash, restaurants Aubaine and Daphne’s, upmarket pet shop Love My Human, and more.
American photographer David Taggart spent his early years in Oxford, the son of an Oxford University professor. He maintains a “spiritual, ancestral, and cultural affinity with England,” and welcomes the opportunity to give back to a country that gave him and his family so much. The YOUmanity initiative falls under the umbrella of his Republic of Humanity platform.
“Through my pictures I offer a deeper look at people and to what connects us all,” he says. “Despite living in a hyper-connected world, people feel more disconnected than ever before. My hope is for people to look at themselves through others, opening hearts and minds. Republic of Humanity is about storytelling; it is a community of seekers who desire to understand our shared humanity through my pictures.”
Eisler, Sukkar, Elghanian and Taggart are aiming to raise £50,000 for CW+ to fund projects at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
Our CEO Chris Chaney says: “The response from our community in this most challenging of years has been incredible. That our friends and supporters are still looking to help us and our colleagues across the hospital through new initiatives like the YOUmanity project means so much to everyone at Chelsea and Westminster.
“Our longstanding links to the art world through our pioneering Arts in Health programme gives the support of the YOUmanity project even greater relevance, and I am sure that this fantastic initiative will have a tangible and lasting impact on the care we provide to patients at the hospital.”
You are invited to support us and the Republic of YOUmanity mission by purchasing a limited edition signed print at £100 per A2-sized photograph (plus shipping). Only ten prints are available per image (from a selection of 50 images available to purchase).