United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland - Monday 10 – Friday 14 June 2013

Human Rights in Art; the UK in a unique partnership between arts and diplomacy sets down a challenge to think creatively about how to implement human rights around the world.

The UK Mission to the United Nations in partnership with British company ‘Architects of Air’ will install a 1000 square metre inflatable ‘Luminarium’ sculpture in the grounds of the Palais des Nations, the global centre of human rights and the headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva.

Pentalum, UK artist Alan Parkinson’s latest sculpture will challenge diplomats, UN officials, school children and communities to think more creatively about how to make the work of the Human Rights Council in Geneva better understood around the world.  It is a dynamic way to show why human rights matter and Geneva’s role in making sure everyone has opportunity to realise them.

The walk-through sculpture is designed by Parkinson to generate a sense of reflection and create a shared space for discussion of the fundamental importance of human rights to all countries.  The space will connect people from different walks of life, from Government policy makers to grass roots movements, to build a common push for human rights to be realised.

It will be opened by Miss Karen Pierce CMG, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Director General of the UN in Geneva during the final week of the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council.

The week-long art installation will be filled with activities and events including a live hip hop performance by former child soldier and now international music and Hollywood artist Emmanuel Jal and multilingual audio recordings of why human rights matter to people around the world.  Local school children will take part in workshops around their rights and government representatives will be invited to debate Human Rights Council resolutions.  It will culminate in a mass recital from memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights led by UK artist Andrew Mitchelson, who will be continuing the work of Monica Ross (of An Act of Memory) involving UN agencies, local dignitaries and civil society groups.  This final ‘act of memory’ will reinforce why human rights must be kept in everyone’s minds and focus the world’s attention on how to realise human rights for all, everywhere, without discrimination. 

This project is part of the UK Mission to the UN in Geneva’s work to promote and protect the human rights of all people and to ensure that human rights remain at the heart of the UN’s work.


The UK Mission in Geneva

Represents British interests in a range of international organisations dealing with human rights, trade and economic issues, health and humanitarian issues, and arms control.

>> UK Mission website 


Architects of Air

Build ‘luminaria’ - monumental inflatable structures designed by Alan Parkinson to generate a sense of wonder at the beauty of light and colour. Since 1992, over 3 million visitors in 39 countries across 5 continents have immersed themselves in the enchanting, luminous world of Architects of Air.

>> AoA website    >>AoA Facebook


Anniversary—an act of memory

Solo, collective and multi-lingual recitations from memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A Performance Series in 60 Acts 2008-2013. Monica Ross and Co-Recitors.

>> Acts of Memory website   >>Acts of Memory Facebook



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