Human Rights Exhibition "Fields of Shame"
China and Tibet, Burma, Cuba, North Korea - the human rights situation in these countries is a catastrophe: people are systematically persecuted, detained, tortured and in the worst case killed because of their political or religious views. The travelling exhibition "Fields of Shame", which could be seen in 36 German cities in summer and autumn 2005, documents human rights violation in these countries on 100 metres of hoarding. But the initiators of this exhibition, the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) and her polish partner organisation the Center for Theory and Practice of Democracy in Krakow, explicitly point out that many more states exist, which are violating human rights - not all of them could be considered in this exhibition. Fields of Shame only shows an extract of the countries and topics that ISHR is working on.
The project of an open air human rights exhibition was realised by the Center for Theory and Practice of Democracy's civil rights activist Wojciech Modelski for the first time in Krakow in 2004 and it was shown in eight polish cities. This exhibition aims at sensitising the public for human rights topics and if possible to create solidarity with victims of human rights violations worldwide, which in the best case leads to a commitment to human rights work. Individual fates shown in the exhibition are partially told by surviving victims themselves.
A Buddhist nun from China reports how she was injured by soldiers on her whole body through electronic sticks and how she had to lye in her own excrements in prison. Other prisoners which were able to escape from their tormentors reported how people that were sentenced to death had to sing and dance in front of their hangmen. Among the most prominent prisoners that are portrayed in the exhibition is the Cuban Doctor Oscar Elias Biscet. The non-violent, committed Christian was sentenced to 25 years of prison for founding a human rights organisation that demands civil rights and the end of Fidel Castro's 26-year autarchy. Even though he was threatened and tortured in prison, the Christian civil rights activist's spirit is not broken.
Through the public demonstration on market places and pedestrian districts, ISHR and the polish centre want to raise interest and awareness for human rights topics within people who usually are not in contact with these issues. The exhibition tour in Poland in 2004 already was a great success concerning this aim. In summer 2005 the exhibition was reviewed in cooperation with ISHR and thematically expanded.
We want to wake people up! We want to win people who say "yes" to human rights for all and "yes, I want to help!"