The first principle of the charter of Children's Rights to Art and Culture states that children have a right: "To access art in all its forms: theatre, music, dance, literature, poetry, cinema, visual and multimedia arts."
An exhibition opening 9 March will present the charter of Children's Rights to Art and Culture, displaying artworks interpreting its principles visually, as part of the Hakawy International Arts Festival for Children.
The charter of Children's Rights to Art and Culture - which lists 18 principles in 27 languages-denotes the right of children all over the world to enjoy art and culture, including theatre, music, dance, literature, poetry, cinema as well as visual and multimedia arts.
Created as a non-profit initiative by the Italian theatre for children La Baracca - Testoni Ragazzi, in coordination with a group of children and parents, Italian artists and illustrators were invited to produce artworks and illustrations inspired by the charter.
Garnering great support from the Italian government and being endorsed and sponsored by several Italian and foreign institutions, the charter has been touring the world, visiting interested countries.
In line with Hakawy’s mission to cater art for children, festival founder Mohamed El-Ghawy introduces the charter in Egypt, with Hakawy committing to the campaign for spreading its outreach.
“In addition to the exhibition, the charter will be touring around the country, visiting different governorates and culture centres, in addition to teaming up with many media outlets to broadcast the charter,” El-Ghawy says.
The campaign aims to spread knowledge and practice of these basic rights, with the charter acting as a reminder highlighting the importance of exposing all children to art.
“The illustrations accompanying the charter are great works of art,” El-Ghawy points out.
Each artist has his own style, yet all of the pieces are reminiscent of children’s naïve art, they have effectively captured the spirit of the charter in their illustrations.
Hakawy itself is an embodiment of the charter, as it applies each of the principles in its program, hoping to reach the largest number of children and families as possible in its 5th edition this year.
The first stop after Cairo will be at the Bibliotheca Alexandria, with the Hakawy festival offering its program of events to the coastal city.
Already in place was the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, yet the charter created by La Baracca aims at being more specific to children’s rights for art and culture.
“The charter may be for and about children, to learn and practice, but it is important to remember it is targeted towards adults also, those who have it in their power to offer more to children,” El Ghawy says.
The exhibition opens 9 March at Hanager Arts Centre.
The paintings will remain on display during the whole duration of the festival in Cairo.
Ahram Online is the official media sponsor for the fifth edition of Hakawy International Festival for Children and AFCA's Campaign of Children's Rights to Art and Culture.
Ahram Online will be posting each principle of the charter accompanied by the artwork on weekly basis.