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The World After #9: ‘Newness’

Artist Aimée Zito Lema, whose solo exhibition at the Oude Kerk has been postponed to 2021 because of the coronacrisis, reflected on the following question: What are universal human rights? Her contribution consists of a short film and the following text:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was the result of the horrific experience of the Second World War.

What should our Universal Rights be today?

Should we learn to re-read?

The documentation of an intimate space, the world inside my house, weeks in isolation, the social distancing, the waiting, time and space hanging, quietly, differently, seen through a filter, a change of view. An X-ray of my environment, the routines, the space where I feel safe, the things I take for granted.

From this intimate space, I wonder: Is there any human right even possible if it is not universal? Are my freedom, my right to justice, my health, my love, my shelter, my passport, my vote, my clothing, my food, possible if it’s not shared universally? How real, how desirable is it then?

In these weeks of quarantine, many things have altered its regular order. Myself as many parents, have become home-teachers of our children. Learning to read, is what my daughter is doing every day these days.

Learning to read. Learning to write

by Aimée Zito Lema


Soundtrackcity Het huis van Amsterdam met dank aan: Gemeente Amsterdam West