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


Turning human rights into art: woodcuts on the Universal Declaration are exhibited in Brazil

16 August 2018

During August, the United Nations in Brazil will hold an exhibition in Rio de Janeiro with artworks by Brazilian artist Otávio Roth, who in 1978 created and printed woodcuts that illustrate the thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It is the first time in more than 30 years that the woodcuts –which are in permanent exhibition at the UN headquarters in New York, Vienna and Geneva- are exhibited in the country.

The idea of illustrating each of the articles of the Declaration came from the artist himself. In 1980, Roth exhibited them at the New York-based gallery Automation House, where he was seen by an advisor to the then UN Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim. The advisor was impressed with the work of the Brazilian artist, and invited him to exhibit the series of woodcuts at the UN headquarters in New York. In 1981, the exhibition was open to mark the 33th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In an interview with the UN Information Center for Brazil (UNIC Rio), the artist's daughter, Isabel Roth, spoke about Otávio's legacy and his contributions to the dissemination of the Declaration and the work of the United Nations globally. For Isabel, one of the axes that move Otávio’s work is the understanding that information must be shared, a principle that, according to her, was present both in his artistic work and in his activities as researcher, curator and teacher.

Dead in 1993, at the age of 41, Otávio Roth was a plastic artist, graphic designer, illustrator and teacher. He is recognized worldwide for his work with craft paper and participatory art events.

Exhibition details

Period of public exhibition: 08 August to 09 September
Visits: Tuesday to Sunday, 12:00 to 19:00
Entrance: free of charge
Address: Centro Cultural Correios - Rua Visconde de Itaboraí, 20 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro

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