Art for Humanity - The Art of Human Rights

"The Constitution is still our best practical hope" Keynote by Edwin Cameron, Constitutional Court of South Africa to the Sunday Times Literary Awards, Summer Place, 29 June 2013.

South Africa is seen as a leader on the African continent in attaining democracy and universal franchise for its entire people. On the other hand the social and economic problems of poverty, deprivation, racism, xenophobia, discrimination, crime, lack of access to health services, education and justice remain a blemish and a debilitating obstacle to the future well-being of all its inhabitants. The present situation represents a clear indication of South African’s struggle with embracing the values, spirit and meaning of the South African Bill of Rights.

The arts present a unique and well tested medium to visually communicate those values central to all human rights, as contained in the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the South African Bill of Rights. To this end Art for Humanity (AFH) wish to invite 29 artists and 27 poets to create new work with the aim to inspire all South Africans with the values, spirit and meaning of the South African Bill of Rights.

The art of Human Rights project is based on The Images of Human Rights print portfolio published in 1996 by Artists for Human Rights.

Procedure: Art for Humanity will over the next months send out invitations to South African artists and poets inviting them to participate and contribute work, art and poetry based on 27 clauses of the south African Bill of Rights.

Outputs and application:

  • 25 boxed portfolios for exhibition and fundraising purposes see agreement document. Launch date 21st March 2015, Durban Art Gallery;
  • Art and poetry to be displayed in public outdoor spaces / buildings in communities both urban and rural as part of AFH’s Art and Human Rights advocacy programme;
  • Art and poetry to be displayed on outdoor spaces in schools as part of AFH’s Art and Human Rights Educational programme;
  • A catalogue documenting the Art and Poetry including contributions by participants and endorsements to be published.

Outcomes: Bringing visibility of the South African Bill of Rights to the greater South African public

  • Ongoing public exhibitions targeting the gallery going public;
  • Ongoing public outdoor banner program targeting the general public;
  • Creating greater awareness in schools of the arts and the South African Bill of Rights;
  • Distributing the publication to school and public libraries and the project participants.

- Jan Jordaan Dir, www.afh.org.za.

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