Thematic Activity | Identity, Social Justice and History in the Works of Nari Ward

"Ground Break" by Nari Ward

Focus areas

This is an interdisciplinary activity that may cut across a range of different subjects, such as civics, history, geography, philosophy, human sciences, art history, history, and Italian and foreign literature.


With his installations, videos and sculptures, Nari Ward creates works with multiple meanings. By interweaving and juxtaposing recycled elements, he examines themes such as identity, racial issues, justice and consumerism. During the course of his thirty-year career, he has built up a whole web of references and reflections on current, local and global subjects, ranging from the colonial history of the Afro-Caribbean communities to that of slavery in the United States, through to the gentrification of Harlem and the migration crisis in the Mediterranean. At the same time, he also investigates spiritual matters connected to human relationships, social justice, and the construction of collective identities and communities through a shared historical memory.


Inspired by the collaborative and transformative approach that is central to Nari Ward’s art, the students will be divided into groups and will visit the exhibition autonomously, guided by key words that revolve around the social, historical and political themes present in the artist’s works. The students will then come together to share their reflections and the reasons for their decisions to pair the works with the keywords provided. Based on the considerations they offer, the visit to the exhibition will be reconstructed through an interchange of thoughts and peer-to-peer ideas.

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