week 49 of 2017

week 49Tapfuma Gutsa Zimbabwe 1956, Blues for Mandela, 71x35x 63cm Mixed Media, a part of the NGZ permanent collection
This week we celebrate World Human Rights Day
Tapfuma Gutsa’s piece entitled The Blues of Mandela pays tribute to Nelson Mandela’s devotion of his life to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

 His sculptures composition incorporates metal, paper, wood. His service to humanity as a human rights lawyer, peacemaker, statesman and proponent to the culture of peace and freedom.   Mandela was the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa. Gutsa’s artwork is a mixed medium piece that encompasses wood and metal use of materials both advances and subverts the tradition of stone sculpture that dominated Zimbabwean art through the 1960s and 70s. Beyond the confidence and elegance of his objects’ forms, his choice of materials brings to the works an almost shamanistic power. The Human Rights Day aspires to motivate people to embrace the values that Nelson Mandela shared when he said, “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” These human rights values include democracy, freedom, equality, diversity, reconciliation, respect.
This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948 when the Human Rights Declaration  document was  proclaimed and adopted by the United Nations .We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. The onus is upon us to take action in our daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect them and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings. 

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