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HANDS THAT SHAPE HUMANITY (article first published : 2004-12-3)

What would icons such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, world-famous authors Paul Theroux, Paul Coelho, Nadine Gordimer and Isabel Allende say on the subject of wisdom? What, for that matter, would the opinion and thoughts be of sports heroes such as Gary Player, Ian Botham, Lennox Lewis and Marion Jones?

The answer is there for everyone to see at a spectacular, inspiring exhibition called Hands that Shape Humanity, at the Eziko Slave Lodge, 49 Adderley Street in Cape Town. The exhibition showcases the creative expressions of 40 people who have made a mark in this world, be it through their writing, music, humanitarian work, sports and career achievements or philosophy.

Other participants include statesmen Shimon Peres and F W de Klerk; musicians Miriam Makeba, Cesaria Evora, Carlos Santana; activists and dissidents Saad Edin Ibrahim, Wei Jingsheng, Anita Roddick, Richard Lugar, Sam Nunn; artist Marc Quinn; designer Philippe Starck, philosophers Tom Peters, Adin Steinsaltz, Edward de Bono, Norman Lamm; film director Jane Campion; actress Gillian Anderson, chess player Garry Kasparov; authors Kerri Hulme, Tom Robbins, Chinua Achebe, Georgia Byng, Douglas Coupland; humanitarian Noor Al-Hussein; architect Richard Rogers; scientist Craig Venter; sports personalities Jonah Lomu and Wayne Gretszky.

Henk Groenewald, executive director: Hands that Shape Humanity, explains: “We asked people who have lived extraordinary lives to answer one simple question: ‘If there was but one message of wisdom you would leave behind for humanity, what would it be?’ These unique and original messages of wisdom have been captured through the media of film, photography, print, sculpture, painting and sketching. The result is an amazing, multi-media humanitarian exhibition that has broken new ground and will impact on millions of people.”

The Hands that Shape Humanity exhibition was created for the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre planned for 2006, and will tour the world as an ever-expanding exhibition that will continue its conversation with over 400 participants over the next 12 years. A complete physical and digital version of the exhibition will be housed at the Peace Centre and will also be available as a digital exhibition on the Internet.

According to Groenewald, the Hands that Shape Humanity is the largest humanitarian exhibition ever created since the 1955 Life of Man exhibition. “It is the world’s first exhibition on wisdom and it is one of the largest traveling art exhibitions. It will grow from a spectacular 280 pieces to more than 700 pieces by the end of 2005.”

It is also the largest activity-based humanitarian initiative ever created involving well-known men and women since the 1984 Band-Aid concerts that involved 20 participating groups.”

Further information from Michelle McEvoy, Managing Director Magna Carta on 021 417 5763 or 082 805 9143 or e-mail: michelle.mcevoy@cape.magna-carta.co.za




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