A nationwide campaign jointly led by arts and human rights organisations launched today with the unveiling of a human rights flag by artist Ai Weiwei.
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the new flag was commissioned as part of Fly The Flag for Human Rights. Confronted by the real and present dangers of a world changing at break-neck speed, the initiative aims to offer hope and to educate generations to come about the absolute importance of universal human rights.
Sadler’s Wells is among the co-producers of the project alongside Fuel, Amnesty, Donmar Warehouse, Human Rights Watch, Liberty, National Theatre and Tate Art Galleries – with many other institutions from across the UK supporting as advocates.
Held at Forest Gate Community School in Newham, east London, the launch saw pupils reveal the flag and ended with an invitation to schools, libraries, offices and community centres across the country to come together for a week of action on 24-30 June 2019 – to Fly The Flag in any way they like and celebrate that human rights are for everyone, every day.
“I am honoured to have the opportunity to design a flag for the 70th anniversary for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said Ai Weiwei. “As we all come to learn, human rights are the precious result from generation after generation’s understanding of the human struggle. I am proud to be a part of this force.”
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out basic freedoms that every one of us is entitled to, such as freedom of thought, speech, religion and belief. However, not everyone may know what these rights are and how they are currently protected in UK law,” commented our Artistic Director and Chief Executive Alistair Spalding. “Today, it is time to remind ourselves of our human rights and how to uphold them in our lives – at work, at school, in our communities – to fight any kind of discrimination. This project aims to raise awareness of our fundamental rights and of how we can all take action to seek equal dignity, equal justice and equal opportunity.”
Education packs have been produced and made available on the Fly The Flag website for schools, to encourage discussion on human rights in the classroom. You can watch a video of Ai Weiwei discussing the concept behind his flag design here.