Fine arts to be focal point for 70th anniversary Human Rights celebration
Students of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) will create murals, photos, sculptures, paintings, and other visual art communicating the power of its human-rights provisions on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The art pieces will be a major part of the commemorative series 'Art for Human Rights', being staged by the United Nations Jamaica, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the European Union Delegation, and the EMCVPA.
One set of students - graduates of the institution - will donate their time to a live painting of the 70th anniversary murals today, Sunday, December 9, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Emancipation Park, accompanied by drumming and against a backdrop of banners depicting the human-rights provisions contained in the declaration's 30 articles.
Another set of students - undergraduates - are creating pieces in the Art for Human Rights visual arts competition for a chance to win US$1,800 in cash prizes. Judges will be assessing entries based on creativity and originality, visual impact, clarity of message, composition and layout, and presentation.
The grand prize and runner-up winners will be announced on Human Rights Day on Monday, December 10, at the Art for Human Rights 70th anniversary commemorative event 'Reasonings, Conversation, and Exhibition' at the college, starting 10 a.m.
Their art pieces will showcased at the Cage Gallery from December 10, until January 2019, followed by a tour throughout selected public spaces across the island.
The Human Rights Day event will be addressed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith; United Nations Resident Coordinator Bruno Pouezat; Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, head of delegation, European Union to Jamaica; EMCVPA Chairman of the Board of Management, Marigold Harding; EMCVPA orator Amina Blackwood Meeks, and other dignitaries.
Since December 1, UN Jamaica has been coordinating a public education campaign on its social media accounts showcasing staff and partners posing with human rights featured in the declaration and will publish the final set of human rights on Human Rights Day.
In a videotaped message, UN Resident Coordinator Bruno Pouezat invited the public to learn about the rights enshrined in the declaration and to take a stand for human rights. "Everyone has rights, and if anyone does not enjoy their rights, then everyone is wronged," he said in the message.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in her commemorative statement, said, "70 years after its adoption, the work the Universal Declaration lays down for us to do is far from over. And it never will be. In 30 crystal-clear articles, the Universal Declaration shows us the measures that will end extreme poverty and provide food, housing, health, education, jobs, and opportunities for everyone. It lights the path to a world without wars and holocausts, without torture or famine or injustice. A world where misery is minimised and no one is too rich or powerful to evade justice; a world where every human has the same worth as every other human, not just at birth, but for the duration of their entire lives."
The Universal Declaration is a milestone document in the history of human rights. The declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948, (General Assembly resolution 217A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected, and it has been translated into over 500 languages.