The Visualizing Human Rights Anti-Conference isn’t a stuffy meeting with professors, politicians, data and charts.
It’s an all-day event using performance, multimedia and art to tell the stories of people fighting for human rights around the world.
The event will be held Saturday in the FedEx Global Education Center by the Center for Global Initiatives.
Go to the conference
Where: FedEx Global Education Center
When: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It doesn’t just portray these critical issues in terms of facts and figures,” said Bevin Tighe, a program assistant with the center and a main organizer for the event.
One of the day’s programs will be an interview with Rida Mazagri, a Libyan-American and a former political prisoner under the late Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi.
Other events include a participatory art project and a West African music and dance performance.
“Rather than really have one single issue seen for the year, we really like to have a mix, as people are connected with different issues and interested in studying things that impact different locations,” Tighe said.
Senior Amanda Newton will lead a human trafficking discussion and show part of her honors thesis.
Her thesis is a documentary film about Stella’s House, a home in Moldova created for girls forced to leave state-run orphanages when they turn 16, many of whom are sold into the sex trade.
“I was just really curious to interact with these girls who have had completely different experiences than me as an American average girl, and just be able to see what they’ve gone through,” Newton said.
“The only difference between me and them is the fact that they were born in a country on the different side of the world.”
Senior Will McInerney, co-director of spoken word group Sacrificial Poets, will perform with Poetic Portraits of a Revolution, an organization that sent him and several other poets to Egypt and Tunisia.
While there, the team also took pictures and video depicting the countries’ transformations.
“We wanted to witness what was going on firsthand and to help bring that information back to our own communities,” McInerney said.
“I hope the people who hear our performance walk away with a better and more realistic perspective … one that focuses on the people and their stories, not just politicians and statistics.”
Tighe said she hopes the event inspires students to create their own projects involving human rights issues, especially since the Center for Global Initiatives offers grants for such projects conducted at UNC and abroad.
“We’re hoping that it raises awareness around human rights issues in a way that also provides a way for people to be uplifted, not just downtrodden by the reality of some of these issues,” she said.
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