16 May 2011
Press Release
Note No. 6308

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents

‘Right to Water and Indigenous Peoples’ Exhibition at United Nations


An exhibition entitled “The Right to Water and Indigenous Peoples” will open with a cultural event and reception on Tuesday, 17 May, at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Gallery of the Visitors Lobby, at United Nations Headquarters, marking the tenth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

The exhibit showcases photographs, films and a full-sized watercraft, which convey indigenous peoples’ relationship with waters, lands and resources for their cultural vitality and resilience, as well as their social and economic well-being.  It includes contributions from indigenous artists worldwide, as well as indigenous individuals and organizations actively involved in promoting indigenous rights at the national and international levels.

The Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues reached out to the indigenous community to submit photographs on the theme of indigenous peoples’ right to water, to give indigenous photographers and artists an opportunity to exhibit their work during the Permanent Forum’s session.  Out of the 140 photographs received, a total of 56 from 25 indigenous individuals and four indigenous organizations were selected for display in the exhibition.

Wayne Quilliam, one of Australia’s most respected indigenous photographic artists, is featured in the exhibit.  Other artists whose works will be on display include Brian Adamd ( United States), Ina Hume ( Bangladesh), Troy Donovan Hunter ( Canada) and David Hernandez Palmar ( Venezuela).

Also featured in the exhibit are two short films from the National Geographic “All Roads Film Project” and a full-sized seal-skin boat called an “umiak”, which is on loan from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

The exhibition and cultural event are organized by the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Public Information, and the NGO Committee on the United Nations International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

For more information about the Permanent Forum, please see contact Broddi Sigurdarson, tel.:  917 367 2106, e-mail:  sigurdarson@un.org; or Sonia Smallacombe, tel.:  917 367 5066, e-mail:  smallacombe@un.org.

For more information on United Nations exhibits, please contact Jan Arnesen, tel.:  212 963 8531, e-mail:  arnesen@un.org; or Liza Wichmann, tel.:  212 963 0089, e-mail:  wichmann@un.org.

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For information media • not an official record