A couple of weeks ago I went to the Human Rights Human Wrongs exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery in London. The exhibition takes the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, particularly Article 6, as a historical and curatorial starting point to focus an enquiry into photojournalistic practice and its impact on human rights.
The series features more than 250 original press prints to allow the audience to explore “what roles such images play in helping us understand the case for civil and human rights, and in raising awareness of international conflict. It considers the way that inhumane acts have been rendered photographically and the visual legacy that they bestow”. The photographs span across a time frame of around 1945 until the early 1990s, featuring work from Charles Moore, Robert Lebeck and Bob Fitch.
I found the experience very moving and powerful. It was incredible to see these historic figures and events caught in interesting and sometimes vulnerable positions; you can study their surroundings and learn a sense of their mood through a simple snapshot. You can gain an understanding of how they may have felt in those difficult situations. Some of the images were horrific and tough to look at, but their place was as important as any other image on display – shock and fear help raise awareness and spur action to prevent similar atrocities in the future.
I wanted to visit this exhibition as I have been studying this period as part of my FMP. It provides further evidence of how we document history and refer back to it everyday. For example, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s is still relevant today – the fight isn’t over.
Photographs from http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/human-rights-human-wrongs-4