Partners and Events Announced Around Ai Weiwei's New Flag For Human Rights
Fly The Flag is a major new project marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In a unique collaboration, a wide-ranging group of arts organisations and human rights charities commissioned Ai Weiwei to design a new flag in response to the real and present dangers of a world changing at break-neck speed, to offer hope and to educate generations to come about the absolute importance of universal human rights.
Everyone across the country is invited to Fly The Flag for Human Rights between 24 and 30 June 2019 in events around the UK, the first of which have been announced today, with over 100 organisations already signed up. Beyond the UK, the project has also today announced international partners, broadening its impact across the globe. In an ever-growing list, the flying of the flag and surrounding events will take place in Mexico, Iceland, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Greece and the USA. Wherever flown, both physically and digitally, by groups or individuals, the flag will remind people of the international commitment made to ensure a minimum standard of safety and dignity to every human being. Fly The Flag reminds us that human rights are for everyone, everyday.
The flag will be available to schools and care homes, town halls and office blocks, hospitals and libraries across the UK. They will be available to purchase for individuals from April or people are encouraged to make their own using the online toolkits. Communities, groups, businesses and individuals are invited to become part of the project by signing up to organise events, workshops, talks, activities, exhibitions, or to Fly The Flag from their buildings to celebrate human rights. People can download the Fly The Flag resource pack for inspiration and simple instructions on how to make their own flags. Flags can be made of anything and people are encourage to share their creations using #FlyTheFlag70. Activities announced by Fly The Flag today are listed below.
Writing Wrongs from The Donmar Warehouse who will bring together writers with school and community groups for a 6-month project culminating during Fly The Flag week. They will create new work, inspired by Ai Weiwei's flag, to be shared online as short films and performed live in 5 public spaces across London. People across the UK will be invited to contribute by writing and filming their own responses on the theme of universal human rights.
Sadler's Wells will fly Weiwei's flag from the fa ade of its building throughout the week, and host a public talk that will see artists and human rights professionals explore the role of the arts in promoting reflection and debate on human rights.
Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021 will spotlight the everyday heroism and grassroots activism of the city's community through the year-long #HumansOfCov campaign using photography, poetry and play commissions with artists and communities to spark conversations about human rights and tell the stories of everyday people across the city. Accompanied by an education programme about human rights in schools, Coventry City of Culture will Fly The Flag across all major activities during the year, continuing to shine a spotlight on the city's activism, pioneering spirit and welcome.
The public can leave their mark around the National Theatre, at an outdoor, participatory event during Fly The Flag week, which invites everyone to contemplate what human rights means to them.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Liberty will engage their networks of supporters across the world. Human Rights Watch will be flying the flag at existing events and activities throughout 2019, whilst Amnesty International will promote the campaign to schools, universities, trade unions, community groups and specialist human rights networks ensuring the flag is flown widely in both physical and digital spaces. Liberty will invite its members to engage directly by encouraging them to hold events including talks, coffee mornings, book clubs and cultural events at which people can come together to discuss and celebrate universal human rights. Wherever these events take place Ai Weiwei's flag will be flown as well as be displayed at Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and Liberty offices in the UK.
Greenwich + Docklands International Festival will take human rights onto the streets of Bow, Thamesmead and Canary Wharf with large-scale performance in the heart of the local community. GDIF will Fly The Flag at thematically-linked events and activities during the last week of June. Events include Mo and the Red Ribbon by Compagnie L'Homme Debout, a spectacular promenade production which will see a giant child puppet move through the streets of East London, exploring the experience of migration from a child's perspective; one of France's most-acclaimed circus companies, Compagnie XY will bring Les Voyages to Thamsemead, an acrobatic exploration of people and place which will see the company working closely with local people on one of Thamesmead's estates; Talawa present The Tide, a story centred on migration - a dinghy washed up on a shore carries the hopes of its passengers as they clamber onto land; Justice in Motion by On Edge will explore the experience of 6 men working on a construction site, Created in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, this is the story of how modern slavery exists under our noses. Both pieces are part of Dancing City in Canary Wharf and commissioned by Without Walls.
Education packs have been produced, by The Donmar Warehouse in collaboration with Liberty, to creatively explore Fly The Flag. Designed to support the Citizenship and PSHE curriculum for Key Stages 1-5, the education packs support teachers and young people to engage with human rights issues. The packs are available to download for free at flytheflag.org.uk now.
Make Your Own Flag packs have been produced, by Fuel in collaboration with Amnesty International. Designed to support community groups and individuals getting involved in creative ways, the packs are available to download for free at flytheflag.org.uk now.
The original Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created by women and men who witnessed first-hand the horror and inhumanity of the Second World War and were determined that it should never be repeated. And today, through the UK Human Rights Act, this powerful idea protects the rights of everyone in this country. Human rights inspire a vision of a world free from abuse and cruelty and empower by protecting people from state abuse and curbing the reach of society's most powerful, ensuring that a minimum standard of safety and dignity is guaranteed to every human being. Ai Weiwei recently spoke on the importance of human rights here.
Fly The Flag is co-produced by Fuel (Lead Producer), Amnesty International, Donmar Warehouse, Human Rights Watch, Liberty, National Theatre, Sadler's Wells and Tate Art Galleries. Additional co-commissioners include Coventry City of Culture Trust.
Fly The Flag advocates include: Action Aid; Action Aid UK; Action for Children's Arts; Africa Centre; Akram Khan Company; American Repertory Theatre; Art Fund; ArtsAdmin; Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts; Attiki Cultural Centre; Ava Hunt Theatre; BAM; Belarus Free Theatre; Birmingham Rep Theatre; Bristol Old Vic; Bush Theatre; Camcorder Guerillas; Chineke Foundation; Clean Break; Common Wealth; Cornwall Museums Partnership; Counterpoint Arts; Coventry University; Creative Industries Federation; DACS; Dance Umbrella; Eden Court; Edinburgh International Festival; Emergency Exit Arts; English National Ballet; Environmental Justice Foundation; Fawcett Society; Graeae Theatre; Historic England; HOME Manchester; Ikon Gallery; In Between Time; Julie's Bicycle; Kali Theatre; Kiln Theatre; Libraries Unlimited, Devon; The Lisson Gallery; Lyric Hammersmith; Manchester International Festival; MIND; Modern Art Oxford; National College for Creative & Cultural Industries; National Museums Liverpool; National Museum Wales; National Theatre of Scotland; Northern Stage; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; Old Vic Theatre; Prime Theatre; Project Everyone; Refugee Action; RightsInfo; Roundhouse; Routes Collective; Royal Academy of Art; Royal & Derngate, Northampton; Royal Opera House; Royal Shakespeare Company; Scottish Opera; Sage Gateshead; Scottish Opera; Serpentine Galleries; Shakespeare's Globe; Slung Low; SOAS, University of London, Somerset House; South Bank Centre; Stonewall; Studio Wayne McGregor; Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno; Theatre Peckham; The Core at Corby Cube; The Public Meeting; The Yard Theatre; Tiata Fahodzi; UAL London College of Fashion; University of Sussex; United Nations Programme; Vestuport; What Next? National Network; Young at Art; Young Vic.
Fly The Flag ambassadors include: Gillian Anderson; Caryl Churchill; Stephen Daldry; Noma Dumezweni; David Edgar; Chiwitel Ejiofor; Inua Ellams; Richard Eyre; Pete Fowler; Stephen Fry; David Hare; David Isaac; Kazuo Ishiguro; Helena Kennedy QC; Francesca Klug; Jude Law; Paul Mason; Ross Millard; Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE; Geoffrey Robertson QC; Sir Ken Robinson; Juliet Stevenson; Joe Wright.
Weiwei is honoured to have the opportunity to design a flag for the 70th anniversary for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As we all come to learn, human rights are the precious result from generation after generation's understanding of the human struggle. He is proud to be a part of this force. Ai Weiwei's studio, Berlin.