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Fragile Freedoms Lecture Series: At halfway point!

Friday, February 21, 2014

The next lecture in the Fragile Freedoms series will be held on Tuesday, February 25. It marks the halfway point of this project. Indeed, four lectures in this series have already been given at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) and four more are still to come.

The fifth lecture will be given by Baroness Helena Kennedy and will deal with “New challenges for human rights in the 21st century”.

Kennedy is the principal of Mansfield College, Oxford and is one of Britain’s most distinguished lawyers. She is a champion of civil liberties and human rights, using many public platforms – including the House of Lords, to which she was elevated in 1997 – to argue for social justice. 

She has received honours for her work on human rights from the governments of France and Italy, and has been awarded more than 30 honorary doctorates. She has acted in recent cases connected to terrorism.

While speakers of this calibre are in Winnipeg, the CMHR is recording their stories as part of the Museum’s Oral History Project, if their schedules allow. Through an in-depth interview, we get to know each interviewee beyond their public persona and accomplishments. In fact, each interview focuses more on the subject’s personal and family life, on their childhood and life experiences, in general. This makes it possible to better understand how their background led them to the path they have taken. More than 160 oral histories have already been captured by CMHR.  

A room full of people listening to a person talking on a stage. John Borrows’ lecture in the Great Hall, February 17, 2014. Photo: Jeremy Williams / CMHR.

The people who have been interviewed as part of the research connected with the Museum’s content come from various backgrounds. Interviews have been done with people from all over the world, from individuals of varying profiles, and in different languages (Spanish, French, English, Vietnamese, Portuguese, etc.). They are academics, human rights champions, victims who survived situations rife with rights violations, such as wars, and so on.

All the interviews comprise the Oral History Collection, which will be used in exhibitions, in the research library and/or in the library, open to the general public.

If you would like to purchase tickets to Baroness Kennedy’s lecture, there are still some for sale. Tickets are sold online only, so please visit fragilefreedoms.com. The lecture will also be broadcast on Ideas, on CBC Radio.

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