October 3, 2019 - February 7, 2020

The Inter-American Development Bank was born 60 years ago to help the region’s people progress toward a better future. Back then, the region was very different and the challenges it faced were enormous. Over these past six decades, the IDB has helped countries in the region to increase economic growth and decrease poverty. The IDB has also helped increase life expectancy, literacy, educational enrollment, and access to essential services.

This has improved lives across Latin America and the Caribbean, even as new challenges emerged, including the growth of pollution, waste, and environmental degradation. If we had to recreate the IDB today, these problems would undoubtedly be among the top challenges we would face over the next 60 years. In fact, it will be very hard to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals unless waste management is addressed as a priority.



Consider plastic waste. How can we take the plastic garbage and turn it into something positive? One answer could come from regional artists who have taken discarded plastic and turned it into something beautiful, forcing us to reconsider how we can safeguard the planet by repurposing something that isn’t disposable.

To celebrate the IDB’s 60th Anniversary and highlight our need to prepare for the future, the IDB’s recently renovated Cultural Center is re-opening its doors to showcase challenges the Americas will face over the next 60 years. This exhibit focuses on solid waste, plastic, consumerism and the environment.

By highlighting the power of artists to transform garbage into provocative messages, we hope to create a call-to-action that will encourage both development professionals and the broader public to address our challenges head-on. The exhibit aims to increase environmental awareness and change the way we think about protecting the planet.

Single-Use Planet refers to the fact that this planet is the only home we’ve got – our survival depends on it. Our survival also depends on our ability to tackle toxic waste, one of our most urgent environmental problems. A diverse range of eco-activist artists from across Latin America and the Caribbean helped shape the exhibit’s disruptive message.

“Single-Use Planet” was co-curated by Manuela Reyes and Jonathan Goldman.

Artists: Mandy Barker, Tony Capellan, Magdalena Correa, Blue Curry, Alejandro Duran, Vik Muniz, Federico Uribe, and Simon Vega.