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Brussels, 18 December 2018 – Kanal Centre Pompidou pays tribute to the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a unique exhibition by Spanish artist, Cristobal Gabarron, who presents 30 paintings, one for each article of this crucial document, together with 40 drawings from children all over the world who participated in the “Kids for Human Rights” international drawing competition, launched earlier this year by the United Nations and the Gabarron Foundation.
Cristobal Gabarron created these 30 paintings, depicting each article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as part of the program dedicated to Human Rights, which started few years ago with Enlightened Universe, created to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations. The installation was inaugurated in Central Park on 24 October 2015 by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Every year since, Enlightened Universe has travelled all over the world to promote the UN values and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has been installed in a different city each year, from UN Day (24 October) until Human Rights Day (10 December). After displaying Enlightened Universe in Geneva in 2016 and Amsterdam in 2017, the Gabarron Foundation brought Enlightened Universe to Brussels in 2018 to celebrate Human Rights in this significant 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration. Rond-point Schuman was chosen as a symbolic location, linking together the European Union and United Nations.
Recalling the UN’s mission and its challenges, which are central to the Sustainable Development Goals, the sculpture depicts 70 figures joined in hand around a central globe, creating a chain of global citizenship, solidarity, tolerance and respect for nature and signals our shared responsibility in making this world a better place for all.
The artist Cristobal Gabarron born in Mula, Murcia (Spain) in 1945, centers his works on the idea of the life of individuals and the coexistence and development of human values. His collaboration with the United Nations started in 1986, when he designed the World Peace Stamp to celebrate the UN International Peace Year. For Cristobal Gabarron, education through art has been an important part of his motivation throughout his 50-year career and drives the new strategic programs of his foundations (www.gabarron.org)
Kids4HumanRights Children’s Art Contest: The exhibition at Kanal Centre Pompidou features 40 drawings, including the winners, selected from the final 70 artworks chosen by the International Jury*. The competition was organized by the United Nations Information Service in Geneva, the Gabarron Foundation and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The contest celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights generated more than 17,000 entries from children from all continents who put pencils and paintbrushes to paper to express their vision of human rights and personal commitment to defending them. Highly artistic representations of American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, of Canadian business woman and civil rights defender Viola Desmond, and of India’s independence leader Mahatma Gandhi won first (Adebola Adewale, 14, from Villa Rica, Georgia, USA), second (Margaret Kuts, 12, from Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada), and third (Barad Memar Kermani, 10, from Tehran, Iran) prizes in the category asking children to create portraits of human rights defenders they admired. In the category “A human right I feel strongly must be defended”, the winners were: Madie Crawshaw, 14, from Sydney, Australia, who won first prize for her picture of a young woman whose mouth is shut by two strips of tape; Addison Wright, 12, from Sherman Oaks, California, USA, who won second prize for her picture showing four raised fists, representing different races and backgrounds, leading a row of placards calling for women’s rights, fair wages and the protection of black lives; and João Marques, 13, from Cascais, Portugal, who won third prize for his picture of two figures, one crouching, seeking protecting from a reddish “rain”, while another, more defined character is protected by an umbrella displacing a rainfall of colors to the sides. In the category “How I can defend or promote human rights”, the winners were: Saied Muhamma Saleh, 12, from Dhaka, Bangladesh, who won first prize for his picture of people protesting against human trafficking and calling for the right to move freely, to vote, to education; Prima Rungruang, 12, from Bangkok, Thailand, who won second prize for her highly colorful and beautifully-built picture full of expressive characters, with a central figure sustaining a world full of children who embody and claim various human rights; and Macarena Diaz, 10, from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, who won third prize for her picture showing a page on the Internet that encourages visitors to support human rights by sharing, commenting or recommending different types of posts, videos or games.
*The international jury was presided by internationally known Spanish artist Cristóbal Gabarrón and included Hani Abbas, a Syrian-Palestinian cartoonist who won the 2014 Editorial Cartoon International Prize awarded by Cartooning for Peace, Kate Gilmore, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Susanna Griso, Spanish journalist and television presenter, Jenna Ortega, a young American actress, Tomas Paredes, President of the Spanish chapter of the International Association of Art Critics, and Jayathma Wickramanayake, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Youth.