A Speak-Out and Arts Evening
Celebrating International Human Rights Day, Dec 10th
On December 10th, MADRE, in coalition with other human rights, anti-violence, gender rights and sex worker rights organizations, held a speak-out and arts evening at NYU to celebrate International Human Rights Day. Featuring performance and visual art, photography, music, short videos, and speakers, the event addressed police abuse, violence and other human rights abuses sex workers face as a result of criminalization and stigmatization.
Human rights attorney, Andrea Ritchie, Master of Ceremonies, kicked off the evening with a powerful delivery about the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and its history. Thursday marked the 61st anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the UDHR in 1948. The Universal Declaration was a milestone document in history to promote and protect the human rights of all people, regardless of race, color, sex, language, religion, political opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. A series of artistic perform-ances and music ensembles followed, along with documentary shorts highlighting rights contained in the UDHR. Performance artists included Ignacio Rivera, Damien Luxe, Steve O. Cunningham, and Guitarist Kirby Stone as well as speakers Ingrid Carrero from CitiWide Harm Reduction and Maryse Mitchell-Brody from Sex Worker Outreach Project (SWOP).
Draped along the walls and hanging from the lights was a variety of artwork ranging from political art from Empower!, a non-profit in Thailand that supports sex-workers, to Daspu, a clothing line founded by Davida, the oldest of the 13 sex worker organizations that form the Brazilian National Network of Prostitutes.
Sex workers and those perceived as sex workers often face violence, extortion, wrongful imprisonment, and other abuses at the hands of police, which violate key articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Through creative artwork and organizing, sex workers and their allies underscored their current struggles for recognition of their human and civil rights, and for an end to criminalization, violence, and stigma.
For more information on the UDHR, visit the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights webpage.
Ignacio Rivera performs skits from "Dancer".
Audience members were invited