04.11.2011 - Culture Sector

Artists and designers invited to contribute to a “new humanism” within the framework of the International Competition for a Permanent Memorial to honour the victims of slavery

© UNESCO/Thierry Rambaud - Leaders’ Forum (36th session of the UNESCO General Conference)

As a side event to the 36th General Conference of UNESCO and within the framework of the Leaders’ Forum on 26 October 2011, the Director-General, Irina Bokova, made a call to Member States of the Organization to mobilize artists and creators for their participation in the international competition under the theme "Acknowledging the Tragedy; Considering the Legacy; Lest We Forget”, for the creation of a permanent memorial to honour the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade to be erected at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The competition is organized by the Permanent Memorial Committee and UNESCO and was officially launched on 30 September 2011 in New York. This initiative speaks to the implementation of relevant United Nations General Assembly resolutions, notably the proclaiming of 2011 as the International Year of People of African Descent.

Open to visual arts professionals from around the world, this invitation offers a unique experience to insert this tragedy in the collective memory of humanity and to raise awareness on the contributions of the victims of slavery and the slave trade to the construction of the modern world. Their input to the redefinition of the notions of freedom, dignity and human rights help build a new humanism and a culture of peace, drawing lessons from this history.

The granted artwork will be announced at the end of the competition in spring 2012 and awarded a $50,000 prize. The deadline for submitting proposals is 23 January 2012.

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