Note No. 5731
Note to Correspondents
MARY ROBINSON TO OPEN EXHIBITION CELEBRATING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, 14 MAY
"Voices", an exhibition of artworks, photographs, textiles, artifacts and live performances celebrating indigenous peoples, will open at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, 14 May. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson will inaugurate the exhibit at 2:30 p.m. in the Public Lobby. A music performance will begin at 2 p.m., featuring William Ruiz at the log drum, followed by Cameron McCarthy at the didgeridoo.
The exhibit will be a participatory event, providing a space to stress the value of preserving indigenous cultures. Indigenous artists from many regions of the world are represented, their work demonstrating a range of artistic statements, form and style. Several artists, including painters, weavers, musicians, and filmmakers, will be present and participate at the exhibit site. Among them are Iroquois bead workers, organized by Sam Thomas; Guatemalan weaver Juanita Velasco; Aboriginal musician and artist Cameron McCarthy; photographers William Coupon, Angela Fisher, Carol Beckwith, Ana Fuentes and Wade Davis; and painter Cinda Valle. Artists Marietta Dantonio-Fryer and Rik Winter Bear Fryer will display silk banners and “Totem Rhythms” sculptures. A special area in the space will be provided for those participants who would like to contribute their views or statements to a short video documentary to be developed through the two weeks of the Forum.
The exhibit, curated by Phyllis Ressler and Pat Augsburger, is co-produced by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Exhibits Unit of the United Nations Department of Public Information. It will remain in the Public Lobby until the end of June, when it will move to Geneva as part of the World Civil Society Forum and the twentieth Anniversary of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations.
“Voices” marks the historic first session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, meeting at United Nations Headquarters from 13 to 24 May. The Permanent Forum is to serve as an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues relating to development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. Some 1,000 representatives of indigenous peoples from around the world are attending the Forum.
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