Acts of Memory
Anniversary ― an act of memory
solo, collective and multi-lingual recitations from memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Monica Ross and Co-Recitors
UK Tour 2011 – 2013
Anniversary ― an act of memory is a performance series in 60 acts focusing on the importance and relevance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and features solo, collective and multilingual recitations from memory of the entire UDHR by Monica Ross and Co-recitors. It was first performed by Ross to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Declaration in 2008 and has since taken place in contexts as disparate as The House of Commons, Brighton seafront, a private flat, Whitworth Art Gallery, Mikhail Karikis’s exploded opera Xenon, London School of Economics, and with more than 250 co-recitors of all ages from different communities and professions memorising and publicly reciting articles of significance to them in over 30 languages.
Acts 01 – 30 took place between 2008 – 2010 and were produced in collaboration with curators, activists, arts, educational, human rights and judicial organisations in the UK, Ireland and Germany.
The tour marks a new phase of the project, taking Acts 31 – 60 to new contexts throughout the UK from 2011 – 2013.
The tour begins with Act 31 on 29 May with a major collective recitation at Brighton Festival 2011, whose Guest Director is Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s pro-democracy leader, human rights advocate and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. http://www.brightonfestival.org
The next recitation takes place at Lanternhouse, Ulverston with on 16 July (http://www.lanternhouse.org/whats-on/event/81/) and further recitations for 2011 are currently in development with Arts Bournemouth Festival by the Sea, Bournemouth; Crescent Arts, Scarborough; Wunderbar Festival, Newcastle/Gateshead and Site Gallery, Sheffield.
This extraordinary performance series retains its vitality because each recitation is uniquely shaped by the producers and co-recitors who deliver it. While the text and its aspirations remain the same, the different voices reciting in different languages mean that each performance is specific to its context and community and is nuanced, inflected and impassioned by the individuals who commit themselves to reciting the Articles from memory.
The emphasis is not on perfect recall, but on the attempt to remember and the difficulty of fulfilling the Declaration’s call to keep it ‘constantly in mind,’ especially when under pressure. Each recitation is also documented and posted online as an open archive which can be freely shared with a wider community. http://www.youtube.com/actofmemory
The tour also coincides with the release of acts of memory 2005-2010, a DVD of selected documentation published by Live Art Development Agency as part of their DVDs on-demand series, exclusively available through the online shop Unbound: http://www.thisisunbound.co.uk I http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk For those in London, please join us at the DVD launch hosted by Beaconsfield on Fri 24 June from 18:30 – 20:30. http://www.beaconsfield.ltd.uk
The project is endorsed by Amnesty International UK and the British Institute of Human Rights.
Monica Ross produces time-based works using performance, video, drawing, text and multimedia that address how experience becomes transformed into memory and history. Her works have been presented internationally in many exhibitions and contexts since the 1970s, when feminism and related movements for social, cultural and political change shaped her experimental and often collaborative practice.
Anniversary – an act of memory UK Tour 2011 – 2013 is produced by Michelle Hirschhorn and funded by Arts Council England. For further info about hosting a recitation as part of the tour, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Hirschhorn, Producer
Anniversary – an act of memory
solo, multi-lingual and collective recitations from memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Monica Ross and Co-Recitors
UK tour 2011 – 2013