Artists for Human Rights

International “Lorenzo il Magnifico” Award for Culture 2007

The universal language of art speaks, once again, of human rights, and it does this through over 800 artists in the prestigious context of the Florence Biennale.

During its V edition, the Biennale gained recognition for its support of the United Nations project “Dialogue among Civilizations”, which it had been participating in since 2001. The Biennale was awarded the prize of the international association Artists for Human Rights (AFHR) by Anne Archer, the association’s founder, who for years has been actively involved in the defense of Human Rights.

AFHR, the non-profit association that she founded in order to promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights around the world and to encourage awareness of humanitarian issues, is made up of artists and eminent individuals, all of whom are united by the will and the sense of responsibility to aid the battle for human rights.

There are no exclusions due to race, life experience, discipline, or nationality: a single chorus raises its voice in the name of tolerance. By using their personal stories, music, dance, painting, and any other possible form of art, all of these people can transmit and spread their message, letting it ring out in the steadfast hope of improving the course of civilization.

“Artists have the ability to touch society so deeply that, as a direct result of this, they can bring about positive change. They have always been Human Rights’ best ambassadors, as they are aware of the vital importance of the defense of individual expression”. These words were pronounced by Anne Archer, the founder of Artists for Human Rights, and they highlighted a position that had already been expressed by Kofi Annan: “I believe that dialogue is an opportunity for people from different cultures and traditions to get to know one another better, whether they live at opposite ends of the globe or on the same street”.