Rivers of the World artworks, Time's Choice Academy, Bishoftu/Debre Zeit

We are delighted to announce that Rivers of the World art exhibition is now open at Entoto Park. You can visit the virtual exhibition here.

Rivers of the World is the flagship art and education project of London’s Thames Festival Trust delivered in partnership with British Council. Running since 2005 across the world and with Ethiopia since 2016, it aims to increase students’ self-esteem through the realisation of powerful artwork about river environments. Schools involved are partnered with UK schools, sharing ideas about their respective rivers, before expressing them visually through beautiful collaborated artwork. Each picture follows a theme such as pollution, or culture, and sends a message of how essential clean rivers are for every aspect of life on earth. 

This exhibition encapsulates the British Council’s mandate in building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education, and the English language. It also aligns perfectly with one of our biggest priorities in 2021, COP26, which works to connect young people, artists, scientists, educators, policy makers, community leaders, business leaders and others from all over the world with each other and with the UK, to explore climate change together through our core pillars of art, culture, English and education.

Since its creation in 2005, Rivers of the World has been delivered in thirty-five countries around the world, currently including Malawi, Kenya, Palestine, Morocco, Ethiopia, Sudan, Lebanon, Tanzania & India and across the UK. 

Twenty-four artworks make up the exhibition made by 240 students in Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar and Bishoftu in Ethiopia and further students in Warrington, UK. Focus rivers are the Blue Nile, London’s River Thames and the Mersey River, which connects Liverpool and Manchester. 

The exhibition will be open to the public at 11am on 14 May 2021.  The opening programme includes speeches and songs with an environmental focus and a tour of the artwork by the students who created it. The exhibition will then remain in place all weekend for the public. 

To support the live exhibition, an online version of the exhibition will be available on the British Council website and this will also be launched on the same date. Moreover, school-based mini exhibitions have also been on display for almost 3 weeks now as large artwork banners have been put up both outside and inside schools celebrating the student’s creations for both the school community and local community who pass by. These mini in-school exhibitions include Nazereth, Africa Andinet, Abune Gorgorios and Menelik II schools in Addis Ababa and Fasilo and Ghion schools in Bahir Dar.

These exhibitions aim to raise the awareness among the public about environmental and climate change and showcase how connection and partnership can boost creativity and encourage global citizenship. We also believe it will be a great platform to encourage the students who worked hard to bring these brilliant artworks to life. By doing so, we believe we could also be launching an army of students to become the next generation artists and environmental conservationists. 

These artworks are being displayed outside Nazreth School in Addis Ababa