‘Human Rights’ – Participatory Artwork

First exhibited as part of the ‘Just?’ Group Exhibition, 2016, National Art Gallery of Namibia.

This work is called ‘Human Rights’ and is based on the rules of the memory game although the matching parts are not exactly the same but are opposites of each other.

The game may create awareness about how people think of, attach value to and judge things which are different to themselves. Things are seldom black and white and there are many grey areas in-between when it comes to dealing with people.

My hopes are to create awareness of marginalities, of which I have identified around twenty-two impacting dynamics, so that people are able to make informed decisions on how they think and act towards other humans.

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Play groups will have the opportunity to reevaluate their perception about marginalities and their value systems, because players may question different attitudes towards the players and game. The essence of the game lies in the stimulation of debate and discussions between the players about topics such as stereotyping, uninformed value judgements and the role of ego.

The rules: The player (playgroup) with the most matches wins. In order to win the game the players must study the images on the pieces very closely so that they can find the matching partner. Since the matches are opposites this will engage the players to think about why they have been matched. The backside of the game has the ‘=’ sign on it which hints at the matches being equal and the name of the game hints at the people being equal even though they have different backgrounds or find themselves in different situations. They should still be treated like full human beings. They still have their human rights.

The matches I identified for Namibia are: Employed = unemployed, homosexual = heterosexual, physically disabled = able bodies, male = female, young = old, traditional = contemporary, married = single, normal appearance = not often seen appearance, literate = illiterate, cisgender = transgender, different languages, different cultures, black = white, different religions, mentally healthy = mentally challenged, monogamy = polygamy, rural = urban, rich = poor.

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