Weights and Measures: Portraits of Justice is a socially engaged art project focused on international law and human rights work, to evoke civic dialogue in post-conflict societies and hubs of international justice.
For the past year, Creating Rights has been providing an active support to the completion of the Weights and Measures project by being a direct actor in The Hague, The Netherlands, the city of international justice. We conduct research and provide advice in one of our areas of expertise, international criminal law. We also act as a liaison with key actors in the fields of art and international justice based in The Hague.
Designed by American artist Bradley McCallum and supported by Conjunction Arts and various partners such as Creating Rights, Weights and Measures is an international exhibition with the aim to start a discussion on the underlying issues of international justice, through portraiture.
It comprises large-scale oil paintings of defendants, photographs of justice practitioners and audio installations of witnesses and victims. The paintings reflect the ways powerful men accused of war crimes and genocide are held accountable internationally; the photographs are intimate portrayals of leading justice practitioners who have been instrumental in promoting social change; the audio installations represent the experiences of victims and witnesses through their own voices. Combined, the works are a collective social portrait of international justice efforts around the world.
The artworks will be displayed in different parts of the world, starting in 2017 in South Africa, alongside conferences, and embedded in public programming with partner organisations. During the project, a dedicated online platform will be created to listen and engage with the oral histories. In addition the audience will contribute, as they experience the work, to create a virtual experience by sharing their experience of the exhibition and discussing the underlying issues pertaining to international justice.
On 21 November 2016, the WAYAMO Foundation organized a side-event to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the creation of the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA). On this occasion, a panel discussion on the future of international justice and its challenges gathered members of the AGJA, as well as artist Bradley McCallum who introduced his project Weights and Measures: Portraits of Justice. A preview of the exhibition was visible during this side-event.
You can read here about this collaborative event, during which the existence of a system of international justice and its challenges was discussed, as well as whether a culture of international justice exists today, and how it can contribute to the debate.
February – March 2017
In February 2017, a preview of the exhibition took place at Constitution Hill, in Johannesburg, South Africa. This was also the opportunity to hear distinguished speakers such as Kelly Jo-Bluen, Richard Goldstone, Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, and Navy Pillay on the domestication of international justice law in Africa. On 28 and 30 March, the exhibition opened to the public at the Johannesburg Genocide and Holocaust Center and at the Men’s Prison where artwork was displayed.
Stay tuned for more information coming regarding Bradley McCallum’s project!