PHOTO EXHIBIT OF SUPER-CENTENARIANS OPENS AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS 13 JUNE

12 June 2006
Note No. 6017

PHOTO EXHIBIT OF SUPER-CENTENARIANS OPENS AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS 13 JUNE

12 June 2006
Press Release
Note No. 6017
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents

PHOTO EXHIBIT OF SUPER-CENTENARIANS OPENS AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS 13 JUNE

A photographic exhibition entitled “Earth’s Elders” will open with a formal ceremony and reception on Tuesday, 13 June, at 6 p.m. in the Main Gallery of the General Assembly Visitors’ Lobby.

WNBC commentator Dr. Max Gomez will host the opening ceremony.  Brief remarks will be made by Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former United States Surgeon-General; Ahmad Fawzi, Director of the News and Media Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information; Claire Schacht, a fifth-grade student at Pound Ridge Elementary School; and Maureen Kenney, Literacy Coach, Park West High School.  The ceremony will end with a performance of excerpts from “Our Elders in Ourselves”, an original musical in collaboration with the Glyndebourne Opera of London, by students from Park West High School and the Manhattan Bridges High School in New York City.

Earth’s Elders introduces the world to more than 60 of the oldest people on the planet.  Photographer Jerry Friedman captures a community that has never before been documented, and sheds new light on the invisible world of people 110 years and older, known by researchers as “super-centenarians”.  The accompanying book, Earth’s Elders: The Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People, will be available for purchase at the opening event.  It provides a window into the hearts, minds and spirits of these human time capsules, who have bridged three centuries in one lifetime.  Through their stories, the elders reveal remarkable insights into health issues and the aging process.

This joint exhibition is comprised of three other parts:

-- “The Identity Project”, a collaboration between the Park West High School, the Manhattan Bridges High School and various arts and cultural organizations in New York City, where the students took photographs, wrote poems and recorded oral histories and interviews with elders from their own cultures.

-- Artwork and biographic profiles by fifth-grade students from Pound Ridge Elementary School in Westchester County, New York, based on interviews with super-centenarians, exploring such diverse historical topics as the Civil War, the First World War, the Great Depression, segregation and the civil rights movement.

-- “Unseen America”, a project that gave cameras to people who have no public voice and little visibility.  The goal was to show life from the perspective of the photographers themselves, many of whom work and live under difficult conditions.  These photos were taken by residents of the Guild Home for Aged Blind in conjunction with the Bread and Roses Cultural Project.

This exhibit is organized by the Earth’s Elders Foundation, in cooperation with the United Nations Department of Public Information.  For more information on this exhibit, visit www.earthselders.org.  For more information on United Nations exhibitions, call Jan Arnesen, tel. (212) 963-8531; or Liza Wichmann, tel: (212) 963-0089.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.