• IN A FAR-REACHING AND UNIQUE COLLABORATION, ARTS ORGANISATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS CHARITIES HAVE REVEALED A BRAND-NEW FLAG FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DESIGNED BY AI WEIWEI, TO MARK THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
• IN JUNE 2019 THE FLAG WILL BE FLOWN FOR SEVEN DAYS MARKING 70 YEARS ACROSS THE UK - AND NOW ALSO AROUND THE WORLD FROM MEXICO TO ICELAND, GERMANY, DENMARK, GREECE AND THE USA
• FULL PROGRAMME OF EVENTS FOR FLY THE FLAG WEEK HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED TODAY
• NEW IMAGES OF AI WEIWEI RELEASED TODAY
• AI WEIWEI’S FLAG, AND TOOLKITS TO MAKE YOUR OWN, ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY GROUPS, INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANISATIONS, ALONGSIDE TEACHING RESOURCES TO INCREASE AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Today the full programme of events has been announced around Fly The Flag, a major new project marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and brand new images of Ai Weiwei with young people have been released.
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 and a community that has forgotten why human rights are so important, 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, with over 150 organisations involved. Beyond the UK, the project also has 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, every day.
The flag is available to schools and care homes, town halls and office blocks, hospitals and libraries across the UK. They are available to purchase now, 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. Schools and individuals can download the Fly The Flag creative resource packs for inspiration and simple instructions on how to make their own flags and learn about human rights. Flags can be made of anything and people are encouraged to share their creations using #FlyTheFlag70.
Activities around Fly The Flag include:
The Opening Day Event will be presented by Fuel and Clod Ensemble at 10:30am on Monday 24th June at Somerset House, a free event in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court to celebrate the start of Fly The Flag week. Walk barefoot and hear the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration in a specially made intimate audio version for Fly The Flag, before hearing 15 women singing articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, set to music by Paul Clark, co-Artistic Director of Clod Ensemble. Fuel produce fresh work for adventurous people by inspiring artists. Resident at Somerset House, Fuel is lead producer of Fly The Flag.
Writing Wrongs from the Donmar Warehouse brings together writers including Zainab Hasan, Sabrina Mahfouz, Natasha Simone, Monsay Whitney and Alexandra Wood with school and community groups to create monologues that explore what human rights mean to them personally. 40 of these monologues will be released as short films, alongside performances in public spaces across London during Fly The Flag, including on Monday 24 June, students from St Thomas More School and New Vic College will be performing in Covent Garden Piazza from 1.00pm – 2pm.
Sadler’s Wells will host a free talk exploring the relationship between art and human rights on 24 June. Artists and human rights campaigners will reflect on the power of art to highlight human rights issues and to remind us of our shared humanity, providing insight from their own experiences, work and expertise. Speakers will include Jasmin Vardimon, choreographer and artistic director of Jasmin Vardimon Company, and author and prominent human rights barrister Philippe Sands QC, with more to be announced soon. The discussion will be chaired by Kate Arthurs, Director, Arts at the British Council.
Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021 will spotlight the everyday heroism and grassroots activism of the city’s communities as part of the year-long #HumansOfCov programme. During Fly the Flag week, Coventry 2021 are inviting Humans of Cov to ‘Walk A Mile’ in other people’s footsteps and will be bringing together activists, artists and academics in an open conversation around equality and human rights. Commissions produced by Coventry-based artists in response to the individual articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be brought to life across the city and an education programme about human rights will be running in the city’s schools. Coventry City of Culture will Fly The Flag across all major activities during their campaign year, continuing to highlight the city’s activism, pioneering spirit and welcome and telling the stories of everyday people across the city.
Make Your Mark from the National Theatre is a spectacular outdoor display of hundreds of flags featuring real footprints, which will be created throughout Fly The Flag week by visitors, schools, performing companies and staff. Everyone is welcome to take part at the National Theatre, where participants can explore what human rights mean to them and, inspired by Ai Weiwei’s new design, create their own digitally printed footprint flag on material recycled from NT productions. The display will fly proudly from the theatre building during the week. The Make Your Mark creative base is drop in and free and will be open opposite the ground floor box office area at the NT, Monday 24 – Saturday 29 June, from 10am – 6pm.
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.
Farnham Maltings, a space dedicated to the arts and crafts, will be producing a bespoke quilted version of the flag. The footprint will be represented by 429 hand-appliquéd circles, each circle representing each person’s individual freedom and human rights. Those working on the project include Quilters Guild groups and social community craft groups. In a drive to combat loneliness and isolation, Farnham Maltings’ social community groups help connect local people from all backgrounds, stimulating conversation and friendship. The Flag will be displayed in the entrance of Farnham Maltings from 25-30 June.
Events inspired by Fly The Flag will be taking place far and wide across the whole of the UK. 64 Million Artists set Weekly Challenges in partnership with cultural organisations and individuals across the country which, during Fly The Flag week, will be to design, create or fly a flag; in London, the Lyric Ensemble, a group of 15 actors working and training two nights a week over nine months with the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, will present The Mob Reformers, bringing to life the story of a group of people that rebelled against the King of England for denying their basic human rights to live as free people, signalling that nearly 600 years later very little has changed; Rural Arts North Yorkshire invites people to create their very own flags and paper characters, in a free afternoon drop-in session on Saturday 22 June, to then be exhibited in The Courthouse on the 28 and 29 June as part of Fly the Flag week; Brighton Dome is working with a UN Rights Respecting local primary school to help the children create their own flags that represent the Children’s Rights most important to them, to be flown alongside Ai Wei Wei’s flag inside and outside the Brighton Dome; Professional dancers from Ballet Cymru will be performing alongside the students of Aberbargoed Primary School in an adaption of their performance of Romeo A Juliet, working with the students throughout the week to leading up to a performance outdoors at Par Cwm Darran; The Pier Arts Centre will hold creative drop-in sessions where there will be an opportunity to help design and make a flag which the Pier Arts Centre will fly during Fly The Flag week; Walk the Plank will be working in collaboration with Manchester Day artist Brian D Hanlon for the 10th Manchester Day parade through Manchester city centre. Members of local community group The Men’s Room, which represents the rights of male and trans sex workers, homeless and marginalised young men will be wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the iconic barefoot flag design created by Ai Weiwei during Fly The Flag week; National Theatre Wales will be hosting a number of activities during the week including on Wednesday 26, the community choir who appeared in the National Theatre Wales show, Tide Whisperer, about the refugee/migrant experience will be creating their own flag which will be flown at Manorbier Castle, Pembrokeshire, and on Thursday 27 June Greenhill School, Tenby will launch a short film about human rights which they have made with NTW TEAM especially for Fly the Flag week. Following the launch to an audience at the school, the film will be shown for the rest of the week via the National Theatre Wales website.
A number of youth-led and educational projects will also be taking place, including; The Physical Fellowship from Coventry-based Highly Sprung Performance Company, a four-day festival of physical theatre for young people showcasing over 12 different performances all supporting young people to find a voice and carve a space for themselves in their future, inspired by stories celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights; Journeys of Destiny , a new play for young people and community audiences from Ava Hunt Theatre which takes stories from all our families and weaves them with that of Saad Al-Kassab, a young Syrian refugee whose dreams had to change forever when war broke out in his city of Homs; Ikon Gallery whose Ikon Youth Programme will hold flag making workshops with current members on board Ikon’s Slow Boat, culminating in a procession to Fly The Flag; Prime Youth Theatre will explore the role of Human Rights in our everyday lives and celebrate Swindon and Wiltshire’s Human Rights defenders in a series of youth theatre and writing workshops throughout Fly the Flag week.
Lesson plans and assembly packs have been produced by the Donmar Warehouse in collaboration with Liberty and Amnesty International UK. Designed to support the Citizenship and PSHE curriculums for ages 5-18, these education resources support teachers and young people to creatively engage with Fly The Flag and human rights. The packs are available to download for free at www.flytheflag.org.uk/schools now. Designed with teachers, these resources link to Citizenship, PHSE and SMSC learning aims and includes short films, images and interactive activities for groups of all sizes.
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 empowered 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. Additional co-commissioners include Coventry City of Culture Trust.
Fly The Flag advocates include: 20-21 Visual Arts Centre; 64 Million Artists; Aberystwyth Arts Centre; Action Aid; Action Aid UK; Action for Children’s Arts; Africa Centre; Akram Khan Company; American Repertory Theater; Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales; Amnesty International UK; Arnolfini; Art Fund; Art Breath; Artsreach; ArtsAdmin; Atlas Arts; Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts; Attiki Cultural Society; Ava Hunt Theatre; Ballet Cymru; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; BAM; Barnsley Civic; Battersea Arts Centre; Belarus Free Theatre; Belgrade Theatre Coventry; Birmingham Rep; Black Country Touring; Boy Blue; Brighton Dome & Festival; Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation; Bristol Old Vic; Bush Theatre; Cambridgeshire County Council; Camcorder Guerillas; Camden People’s Theatre; Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry; Chineke Foundation; Clean Break; Common Wealth; Contact; Coombe Farm Studios; Corn Exchange Newbury; Cornwall Museums Partnership; Counterpoints Arts; Coventry University; Creative Industries Federation; Creative People & Places Hounslow; Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich; curious directive; DACS; Dance Umbrella; Donmar Warehouse; Dyslexia Scotland; Eden Court; Emergency Exit Arts; Edinburgh International Festival; English National Ballet; English National Opera; Environmental Justice Foundation; Farnham Maltings; Fawcett Society; Fife Contemporary; Freedom Festival Arts Trust; Fuel; Fun Palaces; Gecko; Golden Thread Gallery; Graeae Theatre; Greenwich+Docklands International Festival; Group for Human Rights, University Magdeburg; Hackney Council; Half Moon Theatre; Coventry-based Highly Sprung; Historic England; Historic Royal Palaces; HOME Manchester; Human Rights Watch; Ikon Gallery; In Between Time; Index On Censorship; Jewish Museum London; Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru; Julie’s Bicycle; Kali Theatre; Kiln Theatre; Kiron; Lakes Alive; Ledbury Poetry Festival; Liberty; Libraries Unlimited, Devon; Lisson Gallery; Live Art Development Agency; Live Theatre, Newcastle; Liverpool Irish Festival; London College of Fashion; LW Theatres; Lyric Hammersmith; Manchester Art Gallery; Manchester International Festival; MAYK; Merseyside Dance Initiative; Mikron Theatre; MIND; Mind The Gap; Modern Art Oxford; National College for Creative & Cultural Industries; National Museums Liverpool; National Rural Touring Forum; National Theatre; National Theatre of Scotland; National Theatre Wales; Northern Stage; Nottingham Playhouse; Oficina de Proyectos Culturales; Old Vic; Oriel Myrddin Gallery; Pier Arts Centre; Prime Theatre; Project Everyone; Proteus; Polka Theatre; Refugee Action; RightsInfo; Roundhouse; Routes Collective; Royal Academy of Arts; Royal & Derngate, Northampton; Royal Exchange Theatre; Royal Opera House; Royal Shakespeare Company; Rural Arts; Rye Creative Centre; Sadler’s Wells; Sage Gateshead; Scottish Opera; Serpentine Galleries; Shakespeare’s Globe; Slung Low, Leeds; SOAS, University of London; Sole Purpose Productions; Somerset House; Sonia Sabri Company; Sound City; Southbank Centre; South East Dance; Stephen Joseph Theatre; Stonewall; Studio Wayne McGregor; Sunderland Culture; Tate; Talking Birds; Telegraph Museum, Porthcurno; The Core at Corby Cube; The Gulbenkian; The Public Meeting; The Ropewalk; The Royal Standard, Liverpool; The Work Room; The Yard Theatre; Theatre Peckham; Tiata Fahodzi; Turner Contemporary; Tusk Task Force; Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums; Vesturport; Unity Theatre; University of Hull; University of Northampton; University of Suffolk; University of Sussex; University of Winchester; Vamos Theatre; Walk the Plank; What Next? National Network; World Fringe; World Heart Beat; Writing West Midlands; Yorkshire Dance; Young at Art; Young Vic.
Fly The Flag ambassadors include: Gillian Anderson; Caryl Churchill; Stephen Daldry; Zehra Doğan; Noma Dumezweni; David Edgar; Chiwetel 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.
In addition to the co-producers, the Fly The Flag steering group includes: Erica Bolton; David Lan; Phyllida Lloyd; Gbolahan Obisesan; Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp and Alex Beard.
With thanks to the Donmar Warehouse for their learning resources and Writing Wrongs project, along with Thomas Tallis School and Hampstead School for their contribution to Fly The Flag.
“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