Free admission, family programs for International Human Rights Day

Evening event to focus on forgotten genocide of Nigeria-Biafra war

Tags for Free admission, family programs for International Human Rights Day

A man and woman stand looking at a double-sided video screen in a museum gallery. The man is pointing at the screen.

Photo: CMHR, Steve Salinkowski

News release details

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights will mark International Human Rights Day on December 10 with free admission, special films, family activities and an evening panel discussion.

Programs will be tied to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - will open in a new tab (UDHR) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - will open in a new tab, which are both explored in the Turning Points for Humanity gallery on Level 4. In that gallery, families can participate in a matching game called “I stand up for human rights”, where they connect dozens of printed images to the 30 articles of the UDHR. Younger children can use animal pictures and a set of cards describing children’s rights, designed to provoke age-appropriate conversations about human rights. 

A woman and man bend over a table where a young child is playing with a pile of photographs.
Photo: CMHR, Colin Corneau

In the Inspiring Change gallery on Level 7, a curated list of short National Film Board animated films will play, each related to an article of the UDHR or UN Convention.

Online, the Museum will launch an interactive game on December 10 called “Who Said It?”, where players try to match inspirational quotes from the walls of the Museum’s galleries with the human rights defender who said it. On-site visitors can also try to find the quotes in gallery.

The CMHR is also partnering with the Umunna (Igbo) Cultural Association of Manitoba - will open in a new tab for an evening event in the Manitoba Teachers’ Society Classrooms called “The Forgotten Stories: Nigeria-Biafra War and its Genocide.” The program includes a keynote presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Bird, professor emerita of Anthropology at the University of South Florida, about starvation as a weapon of war. 

Bird has worked in Nigeria on a collaborative project using videotaped oral histories and survivor testimonies to document a lesser-known massacre of civilians that happened in 1967 during the war between Nigeria and the unrecognized state of Biafra, which was seeking independence. The goal of this project was to reclaim this history and assist the community in developing public memorialization. A moderated panel discussion will follow, focused on the broader legacy of civil wars and the importance of memory. 

WHAT: International Human Rights Day

WHEN: Tuesday, December 10, 2019
In-gallery activities and NFB films, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Evening event about the Nigeria-Biafra war and genocide, 6:30 p.m. 

WHERE: CMHR, 85 Israel Asper Way

International Human Rights Day is celebrated each year on December 10, the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UDHR. The Museum’s Turning Points for Humanity gallery introduces visitors to the articles of the Declaration, which was co-authored by Canadian John Peters Humphrey. Original pages of his handwritten drafts can be found in the gallery. The Declaration is presented on a wide, overhead screen in child-friendly text produced by the Council of Europe.

Large, standing “digital books” use gesture-based technology to play videos about people around the world taking action to uphold the articles and spirit of the UDHR. Visitors activate the stories by standing in a pool of light and pointing at the film they want to watch.

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Maureen Fitzhenry