I went to the Humans Rights Museum to see the new Nelson Mandela exhibit. There are images there you won’t easily forget. This wall of signs illustrated how whites and blacks were segregated in everyday life in South Africa. This public notice about relationships between whites and non-whites reminded me of Trevor Noah’s autobiography Born a Crime. Noah grew up in South Africa. He and his black mother had to walk on the opposite side of the street from his white father when their family was going somewhere so no would suspect his parents had a relationship with one another. This armoured truck was used by the South African government in the 1980s to stop apartheid protesters.These are the coffins for some of the victims of the Sharpville Massacre. In March of 1960 thousands of people protesting apartheid practices went to a police station in Sharpville, South Africa. The police fired into the crowd killing 69 people and injuring nearly 300 more including some thirty children. Today March 21 is a public holiday in South Africa to commemorate this massacre.
I felt so proud of Canada as I watched this video. Stephen Lewis, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations in 1988 describes a ground breaking speech Brian Mulroney, Canada’s prime minister made to the United Nations that year. Mulroney declared that his country would impose tough economic sanctions on South Africa unless they changed their apartheid policy. The United Nations assembly rose to its feet to applaud Mulroney at the end of his speech. Of course the exhibit tells visitors all about the important role Nelson Mandela played in ending apartheid in South Africa and includes his famous 1962 quote……”I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Born a Crime
Racism Pure and Simple
I was picking up some books at the Human Rights Museum Shop and saw this beautiful necklace. I decided to splurge and buy it for a late birthday gift to myself. I felt a little guilty about it. I really don’t need more jewelry. The cashier asked me if I would like a card that provided more information about the necklace.
The card said the necklace had been made from the tagua nut. It is the fruit of a kind of palm tree in northern South America. Each fruit has about four to nine seeds the size and shape of an egg. There is a liquid inside each seed and when it hardens it has the look and feel of real ivory. In the past tagua ivory was used primarily for making buttons. Now it is being used to make jewelry and carvings as well.
I read an interesting article about how tagua might help to save elephants because it can act as a substitute for real ivory. Only problem is the rainforests where the tagua nut trees grow are being threatened by slash and burn agriculture. If more people demand products made from tagua it may be profitable to leave those trees standing.
So now I am feeling a whole lot less guilty about buying my necklace. My purchase may have helped to save an elephant and some rainforest trees. Why buying that necklace was a positively saintly thing to do!
Looking at Stuff In a Different Way
Dipping My Toe Into the Human Rights Museum
Dave and I walked to the Forks Saturday morning for breakfast. With wind chill in the minus 40 range, it was a bit of a biting experience. As we crossed the footbridge in Steve Juba Park I noticed a sun dog beside the Human Rights Museum. Even though I nearly froze my fingers I stopped and took off my gloves to capture the scene with my camera. Sun dogs are created by light interacting with ice crystals in the air. Sun dogs appear as subtly coloured patches in the sky. The ice crystals act as a prism bending and refracting the light. I turned around after photographing the sun dog to see another lovely sight. Steam was rising up out of the Red River making it look all other-worldly and fairytale-like. Since parts of the flowing river haven’t frozen yet the running water was emitting streams of steam into the icy air.
Our walk Saturday morning chilled us to the bone but it was a thing of beauty.
Skating on the Red River
Dipping My Toe Into The Human Rights Museum
Filed under Nature, Winnipeg
I took these photos of my husband Dave at the top of the Human Rights Museum. I think they actually reveal quite a bit about what kind of person he is.
Having an animated discussion with Ivan, a former student from Hong Kong who was visiting us in Winnipeg.
Chatting with a woman he and Ivan met, another visitor to Winnipeg. Helping a family from England find some landmarks on the Winnipeg horizon.Checking out the Goldeyes baseball game being played way down below in their stadium. Can he see who is winning?
Looking out over the city and thinking.
Looking at Stuff in a Different Way
First Visit to the Human Rights Museum
Dave Meets Rose
Filed under Family, Winnipeg
One of the exhibits at the Human Rights Museum here in Winnipeg I found interesting was an art piece featuring all kinds of stuff you would probably find around your house. Interactive panels let you explore how owning and using these things might be good or bad when it comes to human rights. One example is the cell phone.
One thing that’s great about cell phones is that they can help to get the message out quickly when human rights issues need public attention.
One thing that is disturbing about cell phones is that they contain coltan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo child labor is used to mine coltan.
The exhibit has information on lots of everyday objects. But there are also some items in the sculpture they don’t provide information about because they want you to go home and find out more about how that item is made on your own. The exhibit is a good reminder that we need to be thoughtful about what kinds of things we purchase and how they are made.
Dipping My Toe Into the Human Rights Museum
Residential Schools the Hiroshima of the First Nations
Connections at the United Nations
October 25, 2011
The new Canadian Human Rights Museum is just a few blocks from my home. I was going through old photos and realized that after we moved to Winnipeg in 2011, I had taken pictures of the Human Rights Museum a number of times as it was being built. It was interesting to see the progress.
June 21, 2012
I have yet to visit the museum, since I would like to wait till the exhibits are all complete, something they are predicting for mid November. Plenty of controversy has surrounded the building of the museum and continues to do so with the recent announcement the chief executive officer of the museum has been asked to leave. It appears the museum is still a work in progress.
July 3, 2014
There is no question however that the building which houses the museum is a piece of iconic architecture which adds something very unique to the Winnipeg skyline.
Other posts about tourist attractions near the Human Rights Museum….
What’s Ghandi Doing in Winnipeg?
The Provencher Bridge
River Ride- Red and Assiniboine
Grain is King