National Museums Liverpool Fly the Flag for Human Rights Day
3 years ago
Over 70 years ago, the UN Declaration of Human Rights was drafted, with no more than 50 countries getting involved. Today, more than 190 countries have co-signed this significant document, demonstrating global solidarity and responsibility.
This year, the focus is on Article 25 which is that everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. Mothers and children shall enjoy the same social protection, whether born in or out of wedlock. Elements that have never been more important, as Covid-19 has exposed the inequalities within our society.
National Museums Liverpool will mark Human Rights Day on 10 December 2020 by flying the Flag on the Edmund Gardner.
Laura Pye, Director of National Museums Liverpool comments: “This past year we have seen how Covid-19 has affected people all over the world, and just how many don’t have access to basic human rights. This is a global shared crisis, and by taking part in these conversations and bringing this to light, we can be a part of positive social change.”
“National Museums Liverpool is proud to Fly the Flag on Human Rights Day. Our venue, the International Slavery Museum is a campaigning museum that actively engages with human rights issues – tackling systematic inequalities, exclusion, and discrimination. It is our duty to stand up for human rights, not just on one day, but everyday and for everyone.”
Ai Weiwei, artist and activist designed the flag which seems simple and unassuming at first glance, but then inspecting in detail, the footprint, which has lots of tiny white dots, represents those who are fleeing conflict – often barefoot – with nothing but the shirt on their backs. The design for this flag was inspired by a trip Ai Weiwei took to the Rohingya refugee camp. This became the symbol of the human struggle.
On 10 December 2020, Fly the Flag will launch a series of specially commissioned poems in response to Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Poets and spoken word artists from across the UK will perform their poems digitally; igniting conversations and reminding us that, even in times of crisis, we must protect the rights of everyone.
As an organisation, National Museums Liverpool encourages dialogue, and discussion around the importance of universal human rights, and putting people and communities at the heart of these discussions. The involvement of National Museums Liverpool in Fly the Flag is a small contribution to a much bigger issue – but no involvement, however small it might be, is trivial. And this year has been an extraordinary one, revealing unaddressed discriminations. The flag will proudly fly on the Edmund Gardner ship.