Launch event: Exposure, solidarity, resistance: photographing the daily life of human rights

  • Date: 21 February 17:00 - 19:30
  • Location: The Hague Humanity Hub 

Photography and human rights
Photography is a powerful tool that can spark resistance and mobilise people in the fight for justice. Lewis W. Hine’s photographs of children working in cotton mills were instrumental in bringing about the first child labour laws in the United States. It only took twenty-four hours for Boston to improve inspection and maintenance of fire escapes in the city after Boston Herald photographer Stanley Forman’s picture of a child and her godmother falling from a collapsing fire escape in 1975.

Visual images are instrumental in defining, explaining, promoting, and contesting human rights. In Iran images of unveiled Iranian women have become a signature of the protests against gender oppression in the past months. Photography and human rights share an aspiration to universality and to communicate across differences. At the same time, visualizing human rights runs the risk of reproducing stereotypes, biases, and inequalities.

Human rights in The Hague
Human rights experts at the Asser Institute and photographers at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague (KABK) joined forces to help students explore this close relationship between photography and human rights. Bachelor students in the course ‘Photographing Society’ were invited to portray a human rights issue in their own environment.

We will kick off the exhibition by a roundtable conversation between the students, their teachers, and experts in the field of human rights photography. We will reflect on the exhibition and highlight different aspects of the relationship between photography and human rights. We discuss the opportunities and challenges of combining the two and pay attention to the freedom and responsibly of artists and the ethics of spectatorship.

Roundtable speakers

Works exhibited by KABK students:

  • Densley Annastatia
  • Jade Kievits
  • Jadie Smith
  • Lisa van der Berg
  • Pippa de Jong
  • Simaa Alsaig
  • Tori McCrea

The Hague Humanity Hub 

Fluwelen Burgwal 58

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