Through Their Eyes by OnStar has its sights set on road safety


India road safety art poster.

Mohammad Yusuf, Feature Writer

Through Their Eyes is an art event powered by OnStar, General Motors’ in-vehicle safety technology. He set out to reframe the conversation about road safety by working with six leading artists who, through painting, digital design and more, will portray meaning through poignant experiences through visually arresting and thought-provoking pieces to Infinity des Lumieres, Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, September 29.

The launch of the Through Their Eyes collection will show how talented artists are expanding the standards of road safety discussion through their personal perspective and style.

The artists are: Hamad Al Humaidhan; Kristel Bechara; Simon Kazanjian; Sumaiyyah Al Suwaidi; Galina Gorlova and Asma Al-Remeithi.

Al Humaidhan paints his world with youthful emotions – some of his characters are real, some are legendary, and some are merely imaginary; Bechara’s work is known for its innovative use of dynamic patterns and expressive colors; Kazanjian’s bold, contemporary style speaks to the heart rather than the head; Al Suwaidi is an award-winning Emirati artist based in Abu Dhabi; Gorlova is a British digital artist based in Dubai and Al Remeithi conceptualizes, designs and illustrates concepts and ideas, and is passionate about Manga Comics.


Andaaz-E-Bayaan Aur gives wings to Urdu and Hindi poetry in Dubai

Sharjah International Storytellers Forum Presents World Sea Tales

Road crashes have become one of the biggest public health and injury prevention problems in the world. The problem is all the more acute as most victims are in good health before their accident. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than one million people are killed each year on the world’s roads. Information campaigns are one of many advocacy measures aimed at reducing the number of road fatalities.

For example, the Road Safety Community Park at East Coast Park in Singapore organizes traffic games for local schools and public institutions and provides a valuable opportunity for children to learn road safety from an early age. The second Global Youth Road Safety Assembly saw young leaders from around the world come together in Stockholm, Sweden in 2020 to take action against road crashes. In the United Arab Emirates, the public prosecutor’s office has warned of a 20,000 Dhs fine for those who flee the scene of an accident, which has injured people.

Shereen Harris, Head of Marketing and Subscriptions, OnStar Middle East, answers Gulf Today questions safely

How do artists help the cause of road safety?

By working with artists, a unique avenue of conversation has been opened. The alternative medium used invites the audience to look at the final safety message through a new lens. Involving artists in this conversation reflects OnStar’s pioneering approach to bringing a human element to the traffic safety space.

Sumayyah Al Suwaidi (left), Asma Al Remeithi, Galina Garlova, Kristel Bechara and Hamad Al Humaidhan

What were the “collisions” (or briefings) that were provided to the artists to help them get a feel for the situation?

We understand that art is inspired by human experience; therefore, an essential aspect of the collaboration was to provide our partners with exposure to different real-life sensory experiences. Given our close collaboration with local authorities and first responders, we were able to share access to a combination of audio cues from 999 calls, accident footage as visual content, reflections from first stakeholders, highlighting the harsh reality of collisions.

Why did you select these particular artists for the campaign?

Artists have been carefully selected based on their passion to make a difference through their art. It was also necessary to explore different mediums, to successfully speak to a wider range of viewers, which also impacted our final cohort of artists. As a group, they worked on traditional painting, contemporary design, and attractive sequential art forms, which covered various audience interests.

How will the works be exhibited?

We look forward to unveiling the final stories and artwork in an impactful way that celebrates our efforts as artists. So stay tuned for more updates on this in the coming month.

In your opinion, how does Art lead to the betterment of society? Give some examples where he has done this.

We are surrounded by art every day, whether in the form of music, murals, performances and more. Whatever the form, art brings people together, overcoming differences in opinions and backgrounds. Examples of this include using emotive visual art to highlight causes such as equality and sustainability.

Are you going to measure feedback from road users after the campaign?

We’ll be looking to hear from viewers on how this can potentially change their perspective on road safety and shift the sentiment around the conversation from apprehensive to open conversation.

Have you ever created similar pleas?

Although this is our first artistic partnership in the region, we work closely with the community, first responders and security entities. Our most recent effort was to work with Road Safety UAE, on a study to understand the impact of major accidents and the subsequent experience of victims, as well as the requirements of emergency responders. This study highlighted key findings, such as when responders have a clear overview of the incident in advance, they can create the necessary assessments within the first ten seconds of reaching the site.

Will the experience be archived for future use?

Certainly. The experience evoked by the artworks acts as a powerful pathway towards our goal of going beyond, by informing about the importance of road safety. By exploring multiple avenues of engagement and experiential touchpoints like this, we will continue to leverage the attention we place on the subject.


Comments are closed.