Youth taking a stand against racism - an intergenerational panel discussion
Office of the Commissioner of Human Rights and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will hold an intergenerational panel discussion on ‘youth taking a stand against racism.’ The panel discussion will draw lessons from the past, address current challenges, and the key role that young people play in addressing racism and discrimination to promote civic engagement and social change.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is the leading United Nations entity mandated to promote and protect human rights for all. OHCHR represents the world's commitment to the promotion and protection of the full range of human rights and freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights treaties. It leads global human rights efforts and speaks out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide. The Office also provides a forum for identifying, highlighting and developing responses to today's human rights challenges, and acts as the principal focal point of human rights research, education, public information, and advocacy activities in the United Nations system. The OHCHR Regional Office for Southern Africa covers 14 countries in the region from its office in South Africa.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation was formed in 2008 to continue the legacy of anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada and his generation. The Foundation is an independent, non-partisan entity. Kathrada, a former Robben Island prisoner, served 26 years in jail alongside his fellow Rivonia Trialists for their stance against the apartheid government. Kathrada’s life has been characterised by his commitment to the best values and principles of the South African liberation struggle, particularly that of non-racialism.
The objective of the Foundation is to deepen non-racialism in post-apartheid South Africa. The Foundation works towards this objective by executing programmes, projects and campaigns, which support the following areas:
● Liberation History
● Strengthening Democracy
● Youth leadership and activism
ARTIVISM - ART AND ACTIVISM:
Artivism uses creativity to raise awareness, mobilise and stir social change and inspire a society that is more aware; fair; inclusive and sustainable. Constitution Hill has partnered with the Visual Arts Network of South Africa to curate a new temporary exhibition that speaks to creativity in freedom.
THE ART RIGHT PROJECT
Despite all the barriers this difficult time has placed in front of us, people continue to find ways to creatively reconnect with themselves and their communities.
Four contemporary South African artists have been chosen by Vansa (Visual Arts Network of South Africa) to create one site-specific work each, which will highlight the connectivity between arts and human rights. These artworks will be installed in four different locations at Constitution Hill the week of 22-29 March 2021 and open to the public to view by the public until 30th of April 2021.
“The art installation echoes the intricate interconnected web of the universe, and in this context, of human existence. Each line point tracing lines to another point, as every human life is intimately connected to each other to create a universal pattern. It speaks of the inherent value of individual life to the collective society.”
“Puno (harvests): is a site-specific work which uses a wheelbarrow as a central object along with ropes holding it up, pulling to its side, etc., to create a web around the object. The wheelbarrow used in my work is used as a harvesting device, tilted to scoop and is without a wheel to intensify the idea of a human needing to be present for the device to work. This work speaks to the idea of labour and life. I often think about life as a black woman, how the very right to life is a threatened factor. How hard one must work to stay alive and out of harm’s way.”
“Using art as a form of Artivism to highlight the discrimination and inequality of human to human, and human to all species of the universe; because animals think, feel, communicate and suffer as well. Laws have lost their power to protect and promote equality because the laws of man have humans at the top of the agenda regardless how the other is compromised for profit or status.
“The artwork I am contributing for the festival are life size scratch airtime vouchers. The particular human right I am engaging with is the right to “Freedom of Speech”. I think through the airtime vouchers as a metaphor to ideas of access and agency, mediating the manner in which we engage in conversations and information as well as how long we can do this for.”
A MESSAGE FROM VANSA:
The project, a visual arts perspective on human rights highlights and shows how we can all create and be a part of developing solutions for some of the world’s most critical and urgent challenges. The responsibility and realisation of a healthier, more inclusive and just society, rests with us - the people. Art Right endeavours to showcase the wide and rich practise of contemporary art of South African art with a focus on the impact of Covid-19 on human rights, ecological change and social justice.
*Further panel discussions around the artworks and themes to be hosted in April 2021.