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Anniversary — An Act of Memory

Monica Ross

 21st February and 8th March, 2013

Blandford Square

‘Anniversary – An Act of Memory’ was a performance series, initiated by Monica Ross that involves recitations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, from memory. 

We were lucky enough to have Monica Ross visit us and perform what would be her last recital before sadly passing away on June 14th 2013. We invited people from across the North East to take part in a collective recitation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, led by Ross. It provided an opportunity to learn a small part of the Declaration and recite it in public as part of a unique, collective performance. The aim of the event was not to recite perfectly, but to reflect accurately the many voices that make up the North East (including Sign Language) and demonstrate that ordinary people care about human rights. 

Artist Statement

Monica Ross was a British artist, academic and feminist who sadly passed away in 2013. Roused by the 2005 police shooting of Jean Charles de Mendez, Ross took it upon herself to learn the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with the intention of performing recitals in public and involving members of the public in the performance. She looked to the Declaration as an ethical framework that transcends differences and serves as a reminder to stand up for justice. Setting herself an aim of sixty recitals, Ross hoped to fulfil the United Nation’s appeal for “every individual and every organ of society” to keep the Declaration “constantly in mind.” Over the course of, ‘Anniversary – An Act of Memory’ Monica Ross succeeded in having nearly a thousand individuals recite the Declaration in sixty public recitations in over fifty languages

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Photo © Colin Davison

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