The University of Western Australia will next week host a landmark international conference and two photographic exhibitions that aim to explore the powerful role of photography in shaping our understanding of human rights.
Visualising Human Rights Conference will run next Monday 5 December and Tuesday 6 December at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle.
UWA Wesfarmers Chair in Australian History Professor Jane Lydon said historically images had been a crucial way of disseminating ideas, creating a sense of proximity between people around the world, and notions of a shared humanity.
“Photos reveal the violation of rights and serve as proof of atrocity,” Professor Lydon said. “They may also project visions of a harmonious future and global cooperation.”
Conference keynote speakers include Sharon Sliwinski, from Canada’s Western University’s Centre for Transitional Justice and Conflict Resolution; Barat Ali Batoor, an award-winning, Afghani-born photographer based in Melbourne; and Walkley Award-winning Western Australian photojournalist David Dare Parker.
Leigh Raiford, Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of California; internationally recognised Aboriginal artist Brenda Croft from the Northern Territory; and art a cultural historian Annie Coombes, from the University of London will also give keynote speeches.
The two exhibitions will be held at Perth Centre for Photography in West Perth and both open on Thursday 8 December.
Rightfully Ours, Rightfully Yours: Visualising Indigenous Human Rights examines Indigenous peoples’ human rights through the presentation of powerful imagery and creative practice emerging from Indigenous Australian people and communities.
Co-curated by Aboriginal Western Australians Donna Oxenham and Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, it brings together contemporary art, photo-journalism, artefact making, cultural practice, performance and installation.
The Human Rights Exhibition Project reconstructs UNESCO’s 1949 travelling Human Rights Exhibition, originally intended to interpret the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948. This historic exhibition marked the emergence of a new visual language of human rights.
Read Professor Lydon's article for The Conversation.
Image credit: David Dare Parker
Professor Jane Lydon (UWA Wesfarmers Chair in Australian History) (+61 8) 6488 2131
David Stacey (UWA Media Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716