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WOMEN FOR CHILDREN (article first published : 2005-11-10)

Children's rights, as with the voice of the women in South Africa, Africa and large parts of the developing world, remain invisible. To address this responsibility Art for Humanity is initiating the Women for Children Project.

Throughout history, art has acted not only as a form of expression but rather provided the means for artists to raise controversial issues, bring light to an unspoken topic and provide the source of critical debate. Art for Humanity (AFH) wishes to raise awareness around the issue of children’s rights and to inspire a sense of “moral ownership” and social responsibility towards the rights of children.

“AFH and partners will invite 25 women artists and 25 poets primarily from South Africa and the developing world, but also from the international community, to create art and poetry with the intention to inspire moral ownership of the rights of the child. We aim for each poem to be translated into any other South African language, to promote multilingualism and diversity,” say the organisers.

The art and poetry created by the participants will be reproduced in the form of a public advocacy campaign which will be presented as billboards that will be flighted in public areas such as bus and taxi ranks, throughout the region and elsewhere.

Included in the advocacy campaign are posters featuring the art and poetry collaborations which will be distributed to clinics and non-profit organisations working in the field of children’s rights. They will also be launched into an outreach exhibition campaign that will go to schools and libraries in outlying areas – making the art and poetry accessible to the greater public and not restricted to gallery-going audiences.

In this manner the work will sustain itself and speak to future generations in the same manner that art from previous generations speak to us today.

The project will be launched at an exhibition which will be opened at the Durban Art Gallery on November 20 by Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ntombazana Botha.

A preview of the exhibition will be held on November19 which is doubling up as a fundraising event for AFH. Prime billboard sites will be auctioned for sponsorship to corporate organisations to sponsor, the original portfolio of the project will also be up for auction and these proceeds will support the Women for Children billboard campaign. Both events will feature a performance of Flatfoot Dance Company’s Transmission as well as poetry readings from poets participating on the project.

Art for Humanity, previously Artists for Human Rights, has initiated a number of successful campaigns involving well-known and emerging artists creating art around various issues. For more information visit www.afh.org.za




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