Dignity: Tribes In Transition
DIGNITY, Tribes in Transition, honors Indigenous Peoples through 55 photographs by Dana Gluckstein. The exhibition is accompanied by a photography book, DIGNITY, to be published in association with Amnesty International celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2011. The book includes a Foreword by Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Introduction by Native American Iroquois Chief Oren Lyons, and Epilogue by the incoming Secretary General of Amnesty International. The exhibition and book supports and promotes full global implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
DIGNITY, Tribes in Transition, will be available to travel in both the United States and Europe beginning in January 2011 to coincide with the book’s publication and Amnesty International’s anniversary celebrations. Amnesty International is planning a number of highly visible events that will draw additional publicity to this unique exhibition and to the rights of Indigenous People, along with action alerts, exhibition and book updates that will be sent to its nearly 3 million constituents. The exhibition is available to circulate internationally for three years following the campaign launch year. A percentage of book proceeds and print sales will benefit Amnesty International.
The exhibition’s theme is “tribes in transition” - cultures on the cusp of modernization and often, decimation as a consequence of discriminatory government policies and economic exploitation. For example, images from Namibia reveal the collision of traditional, Western and missionary influences. In a triptych, three men dressed in suits, hats and sunglasses look as though they have sauntered out of a jazz club in 1950’s, Harlem, New York. Yet, their wives are bare breasted and elegantly dressed in traditional Himba cow hides. Two teen-age Zambian boys from the impoverished Goba tribe adorn themselves with crude cardboard masks as they no longer have authentic ceremonial masks. “The images portray how tribes are assimilating into a strange hybrid culture,” Gluckstein says. The images capture a fleeting period of history.
Dana Gluckstein explains her motivations in mounting the DIGNITY, Tribes in Transition, exhibition. “It is my belief that Indigenous Peoples hold essential wisdom for our planet and that most will vanish within the next ten years unless the world takes urgent action. Many people in highly developed countries desire a connection to the timeless knowledge and beauty of these ancient cultures. Indigenous Peoples represent the canary in the coal mine, demanding that we take critical steps towards survival or we will all perish. My own intention and sincere wish as the photographer is that these images of ancient wisdom keepers be viewed as a voice for their cultures and a beacon of light to guide the world in its quest for survival.”
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was ratified by 144 countries in 2007. To date the United States, Canada and New Zealand remain in opposition. The exhibition and book will advocate for the full ratification and implementation of the Declaration on behalf of the more than 370 million Indigenous Peoples in the world, who are among its most impoverished and victimized inhabitants. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations explained the urgent need for such a commitment, “For too long the hopes and aspirations of Indigenous Peoples have been ignored; their lands have been taken; their cultures denigrated or directly attacked; their languages and customs suppressed, their wisdom and traditional knowledge overlooked, and their sustainable ways of developing natural resources dismissed. Some have even faced the threat of extinction. The answer to these grave threats must be to confront them without delay.”
Inspirational quotations from the UN Declaration will be featured on the exhibition walls to raise awareness on the measures every government must take to ensure the survival, dignity and well- being of the Indigenous peoples of the world. DIGNITY, Tribes in Transition is an important part of the effort to achieve Declaration compliance.
Amnesty International is a worldwide human rights organization with 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than a 150 countries and regions. Independent of all governments and ideologies, Amnesty International was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to promote global observance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
|60 Framed archival pigment photographs|
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|January, 2011||120||Approximately 500 lbs||Please Inquire|
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