Above Image: Charles Moore | Birmingham, Alabama, USA | May 3 1963


This weekend we made our way to the Photographer’s Gallery for their exhibition ‘Human Rights, Human Wrongs’.

With over 200 original photographic pieces, it tells the story of the biggest human rights conflicts, wars and struggles of the last 50 years – from the end of World War II to the Rwandan genocide. The exhibition builds a bridge between photography, human rights and journalism.

3_PressImage l HRHW l Robert Lebeck, Leopoldville, 1960
Robert Lebeck: [Young man steals the sword of King Baudouin I, during procession with newly appointed President Kasavubu], Leopoldville, Republic of the Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) 1960

Human Rights, Human Wrongs is definitely not for the faint hearted. Instead it shows the harsh reality of 50 years of human rights violations and struggles against racism and inequity. There’s pictures of wives who are saying their last good-byes to their husbands after the freedom riots, child soldiers fighting in the Kenyan independence war, people walking past victims of the Polish ghettos lying on the street.

Still, this clearly doesn’t mean that you should rather go somewhere else for your afternoon entertainment. It is an important part of our history, and vital to remember what people are capable of doing to their fellow citizens. We need to be aware of these human rights violations to prevent them from happening again in the future.

6_PressImage l HRHW l Carlo Bavagnoli, Biafra, c.1968
Carlo Bavagnoli: Republic of Biafra (now the Federal Republic of Nigeria) 1968

And it’s not all heart-breaking cruelty either. In particular, the last part of the exhibition puts an emphasis on the American Civil Rights movement and shows people marching in unity for equal rights for every citizen. We get introduced to the most influential and persistent human rights activists, people who changed the way of history by campaigning and not giving up on their ideals and visions for a more peaceful future.

Be prepared to leave the gallery with a better understanding for current worldwide conflicts and their history. This is definitely worth a trip!

1_PressImage l HRHW l Bob Fitch, Martin L. King, 1968
Bob Fitch: Martin L. King, Birmingham, Alabama, 1965

If you’re in London, we would highly recommend heading to the Photographer’s Gallery for ‘Human Rights, Human Wrongs’ before it closes on the 6th April 2015.

All Images Courtesy of The Photographers Gallery

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