What is Newtopia: The State of Human Rights?
Be it the right to life, liberty, security and education;
be it the right to free thought, conscience and opinion;
be it it the right not to be tortured, not to be treated inhumanely or in a degrading manner;
be it in Syria, China or North Korea, hardly any other subject influences public discourse as firmly and as permanently as human rights.
More than sixty years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the question of human rights is constantly gaining in importance.
The State of Human Rights is a major international contemporary art exhibition dedicated to human rights. The exhibition, curated by Katerina Gregos, will build on the long relationship between art and human rights and aims to explore the numerous aspects associated with the issue. It will chart the development of the human rights movement and its evolving discourse since the post-war era.
Newtopia: The State of Human Rights will take place from 1 September to 10 December 2012 in various cultural institutions and the urban context of the historic Flemish city of Mechelen – a city whose roots go back to the humanistic tradition of Erasmus and Thomas Moore thus providing an apt context for the exhibition.
Newtopia: The State of Human Rights, will explore the numerous, complex and multi-faceted issues pertaining to human rights. The exhibition will be divided into several distinct thematic chapters that trace the development of human rights and their rise, particularly since the 1970s. It will negotiate the different and complex facets of human rights: from civil and political rights, social, economic and cultural rights, to the right to sustainable development, to peace and to a healthy environment, while emphasizing the indivisible, interrelated and interdependent nature of these rights.