Contribution to Book
Human RightsVisual Global Politics (2018)
It is one of the most recognizable passages in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – that slightly oblique, and yet grave reference to the Nazi death camps: ‘Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind…’ These barbarous acts were front-page news in most of the Allied countries in the spring of 1945, at the very moment when the United Nations was founded at a conference in San Francisco. The newsstands were filled with photographs from the newly liberated Dachau and Buchenwald camps. Illustrated magazines such as Life and Picture Postbrought the public fact-to-face with the Nazis’ mass manufacture of corpses, which is to say, these dramatic images provided the backdrop as members of the new intergovernmental organization began to call for an international bill of rights. This demand ultimately manifest in the UDHR, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. All to say, this particular iteration of universal human rights was borne amidst one of the twentieth-century’s most dramatic aesthetic scenes.
Citation InformationSharon Sliwinski. "Human Rights" Visual Global Politics (2018)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sharon_sliwinski/33/