50th anniversary Amnesty International Nederland

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March 28th 2018

Models for Humanity – The future of Human Rights according to 49 young designers

The year 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 50 years of Amnesty International's national section in The Netherlands. For this special occasion and during a semester-long collaboration with the Dutch section of Amnesty International, students of the Graphic Design department of the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) developed 21 projects, based on specific cases of human rights violations, selected from a list of priority countries determined by the Amsterdam bureau of Amnesty International. Countries in focus were Russia, China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and, of course, The Netherlands. Each of these nations are held responsible for violating global law standards in different ways.  

Divided into small groups, 49 Graphic Design students took these real case studies as a starting point of their investigation into the complex issues of data breaches and human rights abuses. Students have been looking into media manipulation, fake news and the dark web and have been encouraged to formulate their own informed opinion on increasingly complex issues of the globalised world and propose speculative and imaginative counter-narratives. By learning about injustices and their consequences, the upcoming designers have been developing video stories, imaginary game worlds and fictional sports teams which offer an uplifting alternative to oppression and violence.

Exhibition and publication

On the 21st of April 2018 the exhibition Models of Humanity with projects made by the young designers, will be showcased in Theater Amsterdam, during the festive program of the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International Nederland. In the near future, we hope that (part of) the exhibition can be presented in other venues, open to the wide public. Also underway is a publication with all students' projects and selected photographic material from the 50-year presence of the Dutch section of Amnesty International and texts by i.e. Eduard Nazarski (director Amnesty International Nederland) and design critic and KABK lector Design Alice Twemlow.

Models for Humanity was supervised by Lauren Alexander, Vit Ruller and Niels Schrader from the Graphic Design department at the Royal Academy of Art, and greatly supported by Maarten Beckers from Amnesty International.

The following students worked on the projects appearing in the exhibition:
Artúr Andrási, Katsiaryna Banar, Leith Benkhedda, Marc van den Berg, Kylièn Bergh, Louis Braddock Clarke, Martijn Brakenhoff, Roderick Cornelissen, Kiki Coster, Mariam Darchiashvili, Linsey Dolleman, Dana Doorenbos, Hugo Dumont, Carmen Dusmet Carrasco, Manon Féval, Dominika Fojtíková, Armands Freibergs, Verena Hahn, Frank Hemmekam, Jan Husstedt, Rully Irawan, Bohwa Jang, Denise Jansen, Rebecca Joly, Sophia de Jong, Pien Kars, Christina Kordunian, Risto Kujanpää, Peter van Langen, Auke Lansink, Fien Leeflang, Kin Mun Chong, Wietske Nutma, Greta Radzevičiūtė, Samantha van Roosenbeek, Evy van Schelt, Theresa Scherrer, Tyrone Schorrer, Samuel Snyder, Cato Stigter, Yeon Sung, Rhodé Tavenier, Nina van Tuikwerd, Carolina Valente Pinto, Esther Vane, Wannes Vrijs, Alfonso Yordi Martinez, Rossi Yotova en Zuzanna Zgierska.

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The exhibition is supported by Amitek

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