UN75-Maldives55 and Beyond: The role of creativity and innovation in human development
08 July 2021
Throwback to the creativity behind last year's UN75-MV55 initiatives focusing on a range of global issues including health, inequalities & the climate crisis.
Last year, UN Maldives had the pleasure of working with the very talented Zuma and Reesha as part of a consultancy with Publicity Bureau on a special project to mark the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and the 55th year of Maldives as a member state. UN75 was a global conversation throughout 2020 on building a better future for all. Through surveys and dialogues, 1.5 million people from all countries and all walks of life were asked about their priorities for the future and ideas for action.
Given that UN75 came at a time of great upheaval and crisis around the world, UN Maldives decided to focus the UN75 initiatives around the most prominent issues in the country context including the impact of digital technologies; conflict and violence; reducing inequalities; the climate crisis; investing in healthcare and closing the gender gap. The end products delivered by Zuma and Reesha were beyond our expectations and showed the key role that creativity and innovation play in human development. So the UN wanted to know more about the faces behind the designs, and had a chat to learn what makes them tick.
Zuma and Reesha said that working on this project showed how much they were personally able to relate to the social and environmental issues and made them realize that everyone has a role to play in building a better future. Reesha says that the research aspect of the work helped her learn even more about the challenges faced by Maldivians and the socioeconomic impacts of COVID19, which was the vision driving her creations. Zuma felt a great responsibility to convey these important messages through her illustrations and was inspired to deliver a quality result.
As most of the issues considered by UN75 were global threats, Zuma found it challenging to show the uniqueness of the Maldives culture and local context in the designs. Reesha on the other hand said that the hard work always lay in creating designs that are pleasing to everyone and staying true to design fundamentals.
Both Zuma and Reesha have had an interest in art and illustrations since their childhood. Zuma has 4 years of professional experience while Reesha has completed 7 years in the field. As they put it, they have always known that this is the field they wanted to make their career, and they look forward to breaking more barriers in a field that was initially male-dominated in the Maldives, just a few years ago.
When asked of the one thing the UN should support in Maldives, they believe it would be improving the accessibility of uninterrupted, quality expertise, knowledge, services and tools to everyone in Maldives including the communities outside of Male’ City, to ensure a more inclusive and sustainable future that leave no one behind.
RCO Media Unit
UN entities involved in this initiative
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Fund for Agricultural Development
International Labour Organization
International Organization for Migration
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization