ATD Fourth World’s Art Library

For June 9th, International Archives Day, ATD Fourth World International, in conjunction with the Joseph Wresinski Centre, is highlighting ATD’s work related to archiving and documenting the history of those in deep poverty.

The purpose of this Art Library is to collect a living record of the history of ATD Fourth World and of the creativity of the underprivileged.

The library has collected more than 7,000 original art works from five continents. The pieces collected (sculptures, paintings, drawings, etc.) were made by artists who are members of ATD Fourth World, Volunteer Corps members or activists. Some works illustrate campaigns or creative workshops that ATD has organized over the years.

The Art Library is a unique place where one can find works of art that provide unexpected, often harsh, stories and life experiences. In the words of Joseph Wresinski, these works of art are a record of “the poor of all times and of today”. These art works can be lent to ATD Fourth World members and teams throughout the world.

“Culture means engaging in a relationship that people do not expect.”

Guendouz Bensidhoum
ATD Volunteer Corps member and activist.

Through the art of painting, which Guendouz studied at the Fine Arts School, he has chosen to create works representing the people he met in the inner city where he grew up, people who often disappeared too soon due to the violence of extreme poverty. Guendouz paints to express what he experienced, yet he wants his painting to be inspiring. He wants to paint beautiful things and beautiful moments, without hiding the violence the inhabitants of this inner city had to endure. His work, despite illustrating hardship, aims to be uplifting and edifying. Guendouz explains:

“Painting is a way of rising up, a way to go places where people do not expect me to be.”

Joseph Wresinski Centre‘s Art Library is proud to contribute to this project of culture and history.

Above Photo: Culture, Art and Poetry at La Maison des Savoirs (House of Knowledge) in Brussels (Belgium, 1 August, 2004 ©ATD Fourth World/Joseph Wresinski Centre)