Take a closer look at some of the events and stories taking place across the world to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


© Olivier Miche

Street art in Geneva to celebrate human rights

3 February 2018

An Egyptian street artist has made her own stand for human rights, with a mural to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the city of Geneva.

“Gender bias” was created by Aya Tarek. The mural was painted on the side of a building in the multicultural neighbourhood of Pâquis, a few hundred metres from the UN Human Rights Office. It was part of the Festival Antigel, an urban manifestation combining music, dance and artistic performance.

The mural depicts the Egyptian actor Omar Sharif. In her artwork, Tarek revises the image of this major male figure by softening graphically his face, highlighting an androgynous side.

“Gender stereotypes are everywhere in the world, this gets reflected in how to behave, to speak or to act. With my work, I try to break down these stereotypes by questioning the viewer and allowing a dialogue on the limitations set by gender roles and stereotypes,” Tarek said during a conversation with Veronica Birga, Chief, Women's Human Rights and Gender Section at UN Human Rights.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1989, Aya Tarek is an engaged painter, street artist and illustrator with an exciting art portfolio. Using a vibrant, comic derived aesthetic, she aims to trigger a humorous sense of controversy.

Present at its inauguration, the Mayor of Geneva, Rémy Pagani insisted on the importance of the presence of this mural in a city that is a symbol of the defence of human rights, and especially of the equality between men and women.

Watch the video.

  • I will respect your rights regardless of who you are. I will uphold your rights even when I disagree with you
  • When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone's rights are undermined, so I will stand up
  • I will raise my voice. I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.

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