|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Note to Correspondents
Multimedia Exhibition Celebrating Contributions of African‑descended People
to Global Civilization Opens at United Nations Headquarters on 19 October
A multimedia exhibition by artists and photographers representing the African diaspora will open in the North East Gallery of the Visitors Lobby at United Nations Headquarters at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 19 October.
Titled “The African Continuum: Celebrating Diversity, Recognizing Contributions of People of African Descent”, the exhibition celebrates their contributions to global civilization and aims at fostering greater awareness about the challenges they face.
United Nations Secretary‑General Ban Ki‑moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will attend the formal launch. Kiyo Akasaka, Under‑Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, will chair a brief ceremony, during which photographer Chester Higgins, Jr., will speak on behalf of his fellow contributors.
Author and poet Maya Angelou has recorded her poem “A Brave and Startling Truth”, which will be screened on the occasion. The event will also include a performance by James Lovell and the Afri-Garifuna Drummers, performing the traditional music of coastal Central America’s Garifuna people.
The exhibition, jointly prepared by the Department of Public Information and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, is part of the year‑long United Nations observance of the International Year for People of African Descent 2011. It also commemorates the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action on combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
The General Assembly declared the International Year for People of African Descent in 2009 with the aim of strengthening actions at all levels to ensure that people of African descent fully enjoy all human rights. Launching the year on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2010, the Secretary‑General said that the international community could not accept the marginalization of whole communities because of the colour of their skin. “As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms, ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’. If we are to make those words real, then we must eradicate racism once and for all,” he said.
The exhibition artworks were contributed by the following artists and photographers representing the African diaspora: Maya Angelou; Firelei Báez; Delphine Diallo; Torkwase Dyson; Carol Eselin; Adriano Fagundes; Michael Freeman; André Leon Gray; Laura Heyman; Chester Higgins, Jr.; Aaqil Ka; Susan Liebold; Wangechi Mutu; Franklyn Rodgers; Steve Schapiro; Yinka Shonibare, MBE; David Sugar; Adejoke “Wahala Temi” Tugbiyele; Cosmo Whyte; and Nathan Williams. The exhibition also includes films, digital exhibitions, music and artefacts provided by the following institutions: Museum for African Art; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA); the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York Public Library), New York; the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), San Francisco; and the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
In the Americas alone, about 200 million people identify themselves as being of African descent.
For more information on United Nations exhibitions, please contact Jan Arnesen, tel: +1 212 963 8531, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Liza Wichmann, tel: +1 212 963 0089, e-mail: email@example.com; or visit http://visit.un.org.
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