Tate and Unilever have announced that UNESCO has granted its patronage to The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration, Tate Modern’s international schools project. Patronage is UNESCO’s highest form of endorsement and is granted to demonstrate the organisation’s support of an exceptional activity. Sponsored by Unilever, turbinegeneration is a unique educational programme that brings together schools from across the world to explore contemporary cultural issues and to exchange their work online.
The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration began in 2009, devised with artist Roy Smith, in order to establish partnerships between schools and colleges in different countries. Tate provides a project pack each year, containing activities inspired by the annual Unilever Series commission in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. This initiates an ongoing dialogue between the two schools, so they can work together to further explore Tate’s resources and other collections of art in their area, providing a catalyst for further local partnerships around the world. Students can upload their writing, photographs and videos to a blog where partner schools can share, compare and develop work together. Countries participating in turbinegeneration include Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Ghana, Greece, India, Kenya, Portugal, Poland, Russia, Spain and the UK. Each year the number increases, and by 2012 this network will grow to include schools and galleries in over 30 countries.
UNESCO granted its patronage to The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration because it supports UNESCO’s core objectives in the fields of culture and education, whilst sharing a common purpose to foster cultural diversity and initiate international dialogue. The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration works towards UNESCO’s ambition to build inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication. Given to a small number of projects each year, this patronage is an internationally recognised symbol of quality and good intent. It will serve The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration by providing access to networks and infrastructure within individual countries, a route in to local information on education systems and valuable links with UNESCO co-ordinators across the globe. With their support, Tate can help spread the benefits of The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration to an even wider audience.
Anna Cutler, Director of Learning, Tate said:
“It is a great honour for Tate that UNESCO has granted its patronage to The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration. This project is about putting learning in the hands of the participants, and UNESCO’s endorsement will help us to expand this open, collaborative network even further.”
Anne Breivik, UK National Commission for UNESCO said:
“The Unilever Series: turbingeneration is an excellent example of UNESCO’s ideals in action – young people working together across borders, using art and media technology to explore contemporary cultural issues.”
Gavin Neath, Senior Vice President, Global Communications, Unilever said:
“Education is of great importance to Unilever, which is why we fully support The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration project. UNESCO’s approval means a great deal to everyone involved.”