Human Rights Watch has teamed up with creative agency JWT to organize a special one-day only interactive art installation and series of presentations to shine a spotlight on political prisoners in Burma, on June 22 in Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall. The event is part of Human Rights Watch's "2100 in 2010" campaign, calling for the release of Burma's estimated 2,100 political prisoners ahead of the elections scheduled later this year.
The centerpiece of this event is a giant interactive installation representing a Burmese prison complex, created by JWT. A closer look reveals that the cell bars are actually pens. Visitors will remove the pens to sign a petition calling on the leader of Burma's military government, Senior General Than Shwe, to release Burma's political prisoners. Thousands of visitors will be encouraged to participate in the event, with opportunities to meet former Burmese political prisoners, monks, leading artists and other New Yorkers, to enjoy cultural performances and to sign the petition.
What: One-day art installation to press for the freedom of Burma's 2,100 political prisoners
Who: Leaders of Burma's exile community (including former political prisoners, monks, musicians and artists), representatives of Human Rights Watch, including Executive Director Kenneth Roth, New York artists, performers and writers, and members of JWT's creative team
When: Tuesday, June 22, 2010, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall (entrance on 42nd St. at Park Ave)
7:30 AM Monks and guests arrive at Grand Central Terminal (Vanderbilt Hall)
7:45 AM Monks from the International Burma Monks Organization chanting
8:00 AM OPENING of event: remarks by Kenneth Roth (Executive Director at Human Rights Watch), H.E. Martin Palouš (Czech Ambassador to the United Nations), Andy Clarke (Group Creative Director at JWT), and Nyi Nyi Aung (Burmese activist and recently released political prisoner) and others TBC
8:45 AM Readings by members of Human Rights Watch's New York Committee and prominent supporters of the cause of Burmese human rights
10:30 AM Performance by Burmese artist Aung Moe Win
12:30 PM Remarks by Elaine Pearson (Acting Asia Director at Human Rights Watch), U Agga Dhamma (Burmese monk and former political prisoner), Roy Wisnu (Art Director, JWT), Chris Swift (Copywriter, JWT), and a Burmese artist who will read a statement of support by American artist Shepard Fairey
1:00 PM Performance by Burmese artist Chaw Ei Thein
6:00 PM Closing prayers from the All Burma Monks Alliance
6:15 PM Closing remarks by Minky Worden (Media Director at Human Rights Watch), U Pyinya Zawta (Burmese monk and former political prisoner), and Nay Tin Myint (former Burmese student leader who spent 15 years in prison)
7:00 PM CLOSING of event