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Human Rights Human Wrongs

January 23 – April 14, 2013
Main Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre
Curator: Mark Sealy

WARNING: Please be aware, this exhibition contains photographs that may be disturbing to viewers due to the graphic or violent nature of the subject matter. Viewer discretion and parental guidance are advised.

Using the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a point of departure, HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS examines whether images of political struggle, suffering and victims of violence work for or against humanitarian objectives, especially when considering questions of race, representation, ethical responsibility and the cultural position of the photographer.

Featuring more than 300 original prints from the prestigious Black Star Collection, HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS begins circa 1945 and includes photographs of well-known Civil Rights Movement events such as the Selma to Montgomery March and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The exhibition also features images of the independence movements in many African countries, a selection of portraits of Nobel Peace Prize winners, and photographs, magazines and books which document protests, war and conflict from the Vietnam War to the Rwandan Genocide in 1994.

The exhibition functions as a catalytic enquiry into photojournalistic practice, addressing the legacy of how photographs have historically functioned in raising awareness of international conflict. It critically considers the cultural meaning these photographs produce, how inhumane acts are rendered photographically for us to look at, and the visual legacy they leave behind. We see the wide dissemination of photographic images of humankind in abject, euphoric or violently explicit conditions. How do these images assist us in understanding the case for civil and human rights?




Event(s):

Opening Party
Wednesday, January 23,
7:00 PM

Kodak Lecture: Mark Sealy
The Organ That Weeps: Photography and Violence
Rogers Communication Centre, 80 Gould Street, room RCC-204
Thursday, January 24
7:00 PM

Exhibition Tours
Daily 2:30 PM

All events take place at the Ryerson Image Centre, unless otherwise noted

Presented by TD Bank Group, with additional funding the Paul J. Ruhnke Memorial Fund, the Howard and Carole Tanenbaum Family Charitable Foundation and Ryerson University

HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS is a collaboration with Autograph ABP (supported by Arts Council England)

A man in a car surrounded by a crowd of people
Fig. 1

Charles Moore, Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America, May 3, 1963, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Dr Martin Luther King Junior sits with a group of men wearing suits
Fig. 2

Bob Fitch, Martin L. King (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America, December 1965, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

An old woman with her arms outstretched
Fig. 3

Hilmar Pabel, Czechoslovakia Invasion, Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), August 21, 1968, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre

Fig.

Curator Bio

Mark Sealy

Sealy has a special interest in photography and its relationship to social change, identity politics and human rights. Since 1991, as director of Autograph ABP, he has initiated the production of many publications, exhibitions and residency projects and commissioned photographers and filmmakers worldwide. In 2002, he jointly initiated and developed a £7.96 million capital building project (Rivington Place), which opened in 2007 and developed in partnership with the Institute of International Visual Arts.

He has written for several international photography publications, including Foam Magazine (Amsterdam), Aperture (New York) and Next Level (London). Published in 2002, Sealy’s book project published by Phaidon Press Limited entitled Different, focuses on photography and identity and is produced in partnership with Professor Stuart Hall.

His most recent curated projects include the commissioning of The Unfinished Conversation, a film-work by John Akomfrah on the political life of Professor Stuart Hall first staged at the Bluecoat Gallery as part of the Liverpool Biennial 2012. Roma-Sinti-Kale-Manush, a group show that examined the representation of Roma Communities across Europe was on display at Rivington Place (London) from May 25 to July 28, 2012.

He has served as a jury member for several prestigious photography awards including the World Press Photo Competition. He has also guest lectured extensively throughout the UK and abroad including The Royal College of Art and has recently devised MA studies programs for Sotheby’s Institute of Art on global photography. Sealy is currently a PhD candidate at Durham Centre for Advanced Photographic Studies at Durham University, England. His research and curatorial practice focuses on photography and cultural violence.

Exhibition Catalogue

Fig. 1

Front cover of Human Rights Human Wrongs

Human Rights Human Wrongs

Using the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a point of departure, HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS examines whether images of political struggle, suffering and victims of violence work for or against humanitarian objectives, especially when considering questions of race, representation, ethical responsibility and the cultural position of the photographer.

Warning: Please be aware, this publication contains photographs that may be disturbing to viewers due to the graphic or violent nature of the subject matter. Viewer discretion and parental guidance are advised.

Learn more

Installation Shots

Framed photographs, white wall on the left, purple wall on the right, black bench in the center
Fig. 1

Human Rights Human Wrongs (installation view), 2014 © Jackson Klie, Ryerson Image Centre

Small photographs on a white or purple wall
Fig. 2

Human Rights Human Wrongs (installation view), 2014 © Jackson Klie, Ryerson Image Centre

A display case in the centre of the gallery, a collage of images on the wall behind it
Fig. 3

Human Rights Human Wrongs (installation view), 2014 © Jackson Klie, Ryerson Image Centre

Sponsors

Presented by TD Bank Group, with additional funding the Paul J. Ruhnke Memorial Fund, the Howard and Carole Tanenbaum Family Charitable Foundation and Ryerson University

HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN WRONGS is a collaboration with Autograph ABP (supported by Arts Council England)