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Creative transformation gives voice to a new generation

Creative transformation gives voice to a new generation

Dec 21Culture — Dianne McWilliam

“The way we enact and protect our rights today enables our children to become the best of who they are, and who they want to be. It enables us to become the best of who we are as a nation.” – June Oscar AO, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.

Over three days in early December, from Sunday 9 to Monday 11, the people of Perth took the opportunity to commemorate, celebrate and critique the fundamental framework of freedom and equality outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Right.

On Human Rights Day, Sunday December 10, this historical document entered it’s 70th year of existence. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is the first document that officially recorded a set of fundamental human rights to be universally protected. Seven decades is a long time – back then the first instant camera had just been developed, and US pilot Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier.

The Edmund Rice Youth Leaders featured in the pocket guide pose for a photo
Photo: Duncan Wright

But while the technology has well surpassed expectations of what we could ever have dreamed all those years ago, and the economic and political climate looks much different today, does the UDHR still hold the significance and relevance it once did? The Museum of Freedom of Tolerance took this opportunity over the weekend to explore the way young people of today relate to the historic document, providing them with the chance to make it their own.

This project was an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate with the the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance, the Community Arts Network, and the Youth Leaders from the Edmund Rice Centre WA as they explored what the human rights were and what they meant to them. Working with images captured by local photographer Duncan Wright featuring the Youth Leaders, we were able to creatively transform the UDHR into a contemporary and accessible Pocket Guide, which was handed out in the Perth CBD throughout the event.

Image of two women reading the Pocket Guide
Photo: Duncan Wright

We’re proud to say over 5000 copies of the Pocket Guide will be circulated and put into the hands of our local community, amplifying the children’s voices and for giving space for reflection on the relevance of the rights in the 21st century.

To further spark these conversations, posters with embedded videos activated through augmented reality, were pasted in cultural hubs across the Perth metropolitan area. These videos and images, which also were displayed on the Yagan Square screen, provided a powerful opportunity for the children to reclaim civic space.

The Yagan Square screen featuring a image from the pocket guide
Photo: Duncan Wright

Yagan Square was a hive of activity over the three days, encouraging participation by both friends, family, community members and passersby. The space was brought to life through youth dance performers including the Moorditj Kulunga Choir, a free family play-space by Kindling Creative, and a zine-making art workshop by Belonging which celebrated Article 24 of the UDHR: The Right to Play. To complement these fun, hands-on activities we designed light-hearted and educational chatterboxes (see below) that were enjoyed by both the young and the young-at-heart.

A young man shows a group of people gathered how to use a chatterbox
Photo: Duncan Wright
A group of people take part in a zine making workshop
Photo: Duncan Wright

Seventy years on, the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance has shown there is a significance and relevance to the freedoms and equality outlined in the historical Universal Declaration of Human Rights today. As the Perth community embraced the events over this weekend in December, it is encouraging to know that the young people of today are being given the opportunity to make the rights their own. And to be accepted and encouraged in doing so.

On this 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights it is so important that the younger generation understand and value all of the rights that instill and maintain our humanity as species. This booklet (Pocket Guide) reminds us that today’s young are our tomorrow, and that the future, with their help, should be in safe hands.

Rabia Siddique, International Humanitarian Lawyer, Professional Speaker & Author

We would like to congratulate the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance, the Community Arts Network, the Youth Leaders from the Edmund Rice Centre WA, and eVista on the success of such an important and meaningful event. Our team is proud to have collaborated on the design and production of this project, and to have played a hand in making this event possible. We can’t wait for what the future will hold.

DrawHistory's Angel poses with Anne Ally MP and another lady
Photo: Duncan Wright

Weren’t able to make it to the event? You’re in luck – simply, get in touch with us at hello@drawhistory.com for your own copy of the Pocket Guide or chatterbox. If you’d like to hear more about the other empowering, meaningful projects we’ve been working on head on over here.

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Dianne McWilliam
Community Manager
Dianne McWilliam

Dianne wears multiple hats at the HQ - being our go-to planner. If she's not on her Windows Surface scheduling key briefings and consultations, then she's most likely thinking of new in-house projects we can launch for the community. As the 'glue' person in the team, Dianne's in charge of managing both our clients and teams.

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DrawHistory is located on the traditional lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded and pay our respects to elders past and present.

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