Look at the wordle above. Can you make some links between the words that catch your attention?
The word that stands out the most is “RIGHT”. Think of yourself as a person, as a citizen of your own country. Are there any rights you think you are not guaranteed? What about other countries? Can you think of any right that is not safeguarded? If you refer to what you read in the papers or what you watch on newscast on TV, that may help you.
Look at this poster created by Simone Verza. What malaise do you think he denounces?
So one important article of the Human Rights Declaration is not respected in Simone’s view. What is it?
Look at the Human Rights Declaration, find out the aricle that is violated and while reading the document jot down on a piece of paper the other possible articles that you think you see violated in your own country. Obviously be prepared to provide examples.
If you find it difficult to read the above poster, you can download the following pdf document, which mentions the number of the articles: eng
Look at the following images, what aspects do they have in common?
Now watch another video meant to disclose to people what human rights are. What extra information do we learn from it?
Which video do you like better? Why?
What are human rights then? How would you define them? Do you think most people know? Watch just the first 43 seconds of the video, then stop it.
The very fact that most people do not know how to define human rights implies that we need to “do a little bit of homework” (as one speaker says) to make sure that we know what our rights are and we can do our best to safeguard them, for our sake, but also for the sake of other humans.
I had asked you to go to the photograph exhibition by Pierpaolo Mittica entitled “Ashes” (a very powerful name, imbued with painful meaning!) dedicated to the safeguard of human rights. Ms. Cimetta dedicated a nice post to the exhibition, look at it!
I asked you to carry out two CREATIVE TASKS:
1. Choose a photo (the one that strikes you the most, the one that speaks to you deeply) and write a monologue through the eyes of something that catches your attention: it could the sky in the chosen photo, or the shoes of a child, etc.
2. While looking at the photos and watching the videos jot down thoughts, feelings in key words. Use those words to write a poem entitled “Ashes”.
These are the photos I chose along with my “creative pieces”.
At the beginning we did not like each other. We were both used to being worn on the left, but the little boy did not let us be ourselves. He forced one of us to change habits. The ankle boot was furious. I was blessed (the sandal!), I was free to follow my own nature. This is the reason why I (the sandal) and Mr. Fashion (the ankle book) got on each other’s nerves straight away. I despised him and he loathed me.
Things changed after a short while. At the beginning we were blind, we did not know what was happening, we did not think of things. In other words we were superficial. Then, we both started grasping things and we understood we were lucky and we made a difference once again. We realized we had been dumped, the owners who had loved us once, had thrown us away heartlessly. How ungrateful! They could have kept us for longer. We were not worn out at all, but you know how things work in the “upper spheres”: the more money they have the more they squander. They think they make the world go round by buying things all the time. To me, they are just spoilt, their life acquires meaning only in the act of purchasing something. They exist because they buy. Poor them. That’s why our masters were so ungrateful. When they dumped us, they did not make sure that we were not going to be separated from our twin shoe. Ruthless bastards. Where is my twin brother now? I miss him.
I have another brother now, though. I jokingly call him Mr. Fashion because he is trendier than me. He belonged to a higher caste. You can see that immediately. He must have cost his master a fortune, but…now he is in the same sinking boat with me. We used to tread the floors of nice houses, the pavements of safe places in Calcutta. Now we are smeared in dust and at times in dung too. You may think that our existence sucks. Well, it may stink at times, but it does not suck at all. Know why? We have a mission. We make a difference in the life of Amal. His name means “bright, clean, pure, hope” in Hindu. He is not clean, because he lives in the dumpsite, BUT he is bright, yes so bright. One day, while sifting through the trash, he prayed and prayed for shoes. His feet were swollen, sore; there were deep cuts on the soles of his feet. A broken bottle was to be blamed, he had not seen it, so… Well, to cut a long story short (you’ve understood I love words so I am pretty long-winded!) his mantra went like this:
- Om Bhur Bhuva Svah
- Tat Savitur Varenyam
- Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
- Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat
- On the absolute reality and its planes,
- On that finest spiritual light,
- We meditate, as remover of obstacles
- That it may inspire and enlighten us.
How couldn’t his prayers be listened to? He delved his hook deep inside the huge fuming heaps of rubbish and I was the first one to resurrect. You should have seen Amal’s face. Beaming with joy. He hoped he could find my twin brother. So he continued with his mantra and he plunged the hook repeatedly into the smelly trash. His eyes were like the eyes of a maniac. He wanted to find the pairing shoe. He longed for it. The hook was drawn out of the mound heavy with discarded things and with them Mr. Fashion popped up. Amal was incredulous at first. That was not what he was hoping for. His disappointment elapsed in a few seconds. As soon as he put us on he collapsed on the trash and started weeping. He was so grateful. He was so joyful. Mr. Fashion and I were irate at first, but when we heard Amal’s sobs, when we felt his bleeding feet, we were touched. Never ever had anybody loved us so much, so dearly, so purely. We have been with him for a while now. We are seeing things you cannot even imagine. Dreadful scenes, appalling conditions, yet we are dignified. Amal’s dignity gives us dignity every single step we take with him.
Anguish surrounds the boy’s existence, silently
Appalling scenes hurt my eyes and my soul
Anger surges inside of me, to the core of my very being, surreptitiously engulfing my hope
Thus I ask myself why?why?why? The “why” blasts in my brain
gives me no peace till the day
will be dignified with humanity
Till that day
We are all
TO BE CONTINUED!