‘War and Human Rights’ Exhibition & Conference
From June 24th to July 15th, a three-week exhibition was held at the Rosa Parks Social and Cultural Center in Paris, France, under the theme of ‘War and Human Rights.’ Additionally, on the opening day of the exhibition, which was the 24th of June, a human rights conference titled ‘Peace through Law: How Can Peace be Institutionalized?’ was conducted.
This exhibition and conference were co-organized and hosted by the Generation Digital and Design group. Around 60 attendees participated in the conference, and the exhibition which lasted for approximately 22 days until July 15th attracted many citizens who came to view the artwork.
“War and Human Rights” Exhibition
This exhibition was designed to raise awareness among citizens about the impact of war on human rights and the significance of legal frameworks for establishing peace. Furthermore, the exhibition aimed to highlight avenues for institutionalizing peace and stressed the crucial role of citizen engagement in achieving this goal.
The content of the exhibition was divided into two main parts. Part 1 focused on the theme “The Past and Present of War,” shedding light on major wars that have led to human rights violations and particularly exploring the consequences of these conflicts. Part 2 examined post-war peace-related legal institutions and civil society activities, emphasizing the importance of citizen participation in safeguarding human rights and promoting peace. The exhibition also conveyed hopeful messages towards global peace through artwork created by artists and children from various countries, including Ukraine.
Cathia Dirath, the Founder of Generation Digital and Design, who collaborated in planning the exhibition and conference from the beginning stages with HWPL France branch, stated, ” The entire process of preparing the exhibition with HWPL France branch has been an opportunity to talk about peace, humanity, and working together. It was an experience that undoubtedly enriched us. It’s very important to deal with this topic and you have this great tool that is the ‘Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War’ and this declaration should be more promoted.”
Martine Le Quentrec, President of Mondial Montmartre, remarked, “It was a great idea to cover such an important theme through this exhibition. I attended with my friend from Ukraine, who was equally moved by the exhibition. The paintings created by children, depicting the essence of peace, were especially beautiful.”
Human Rights Conference
At the human rights conference, various presentations were held under the theme of “Peace through Law: How Can Peace be Institutionalized?”. The topics of the conference are as follows: efforts to establish a peaceful world by addressing the history of international law and resolving conflicts, the significance of customary gatherings as a form of social cohesion in Africa, and the importance of achieving global peace.
Mohamed Taki Madi, Professor of Public Law at the University of Angers, stated, “International law is made by countries so they should respect it. If countries respected the international law there will be no issue. The issue with international law is not because of its contents but implementation of it. As you we [sic] all know, Russia is one of the five permanent member states of the UN, yet it started a war with Ukraine. This shows the vital role of civil society. Civil society must hold the power to influence political decisions.” He emphasized the importance of the role of civil society in resolving conflicts and constructing a peaceful world.
HWPL France branch plans to continue its efforts in promoting peace culture and advancing human rights by organizing human rights conferences and exhibitions in the second half of 2023.