Sunday, 2 June 2013


Danish political artist speaks at the UN


Danish Nadia Plesner is the artist behind the depiction of the little boy from Darfur with Louis Vuitton bag over his arm. The controversial image is now an eye-catcher for the UN's work with artistic freedom.

UN special rapporteur on cultural rights and artistic freedom, Ms..Farida Shaheed, presents an annual report to the Human Rights Council Monday 3 June. It's topic is the right to artistic freedom.

On this occasion, guests include Danish Ole Reitov, program officer from Free Muse, Palais des Nations in Geneva together with the Danish artist Nadia Plesner.
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Mission accomplished 

The Danish artist Nadia Plesner knows what it means to struggle under pressure for her artistic freedom.

In 2008 she was sued by fashion giant Louis Vuitton to have printed artwork "Simple Living" - the boy with the Louis Vuitton bag on a t-shirt to raise money for the people of Darfur.

Nadia Plesner was threatened with a lawsuit for abuse of the Louis Vuitton brand. The fear of a costly damages was to stop Nadia Plesner from selling Darfur t-shirts.

Simple Living provokes,
because no one can identify with both the bag and boy
Instead Nadia incorporated her image in his great work of art "Darfurnica" which measures approx. 3.5. meters x 8 meters and refer to Picasso's famous work "Guernica" - reproduction of bombing during the Spanish Civil War. While it was exhibited in Copenhagen in January 2011, Louis Vuitton sued Nadia Plesner who was sentenced to a daily fine of DKK 40,000.

"The prosecutor said in court that the artwork was devastating for Louis Vuitton, because their customers now come to think of Darfur, when they see a Vuitton bag. That is how they think. I thought, however, that my mission was completed, "said Nadia Plesner to Amnesty Denmark's members magazine.

The lawsuit was settled in June 2011 - and to Nadia Plesner advantage: She got a court order stating that she has the right to use status symbols in her art.

The "bl├Žstomvundne" artwork is now used by the United Nations as a logo in connection with work for the freedom of artistic expression and creation.

OCHRC's annual session - now with artists

UN Human Rights Council holds session in Geneva from 27 May - 14June 2013, the special rapporteur Ms. Farida Shahed presents its annual report and hosts the event with the Danish artistic freedom fighters.

As well as Ole Reitov and Nadia Plesner participating, Mr. Mohammed Aly Ansar, Essakane Desert Festival Director, Mali, will be awarded Free Muse Prize 2013.

Deeyah, the film/music producer and founder of the Norway-based company Fuuse where human rights are promoted through activism, such as the composition of digital media art, will speak. As will Mr. Didier Awadi, a musician from Senegal, Mr. Jonathan Stanczack from Freedom Theatre in Jenin and Ms. Jane Connors, Chief, Special Procedures Branch, OHCHR and Norwegian Mr. Didrik Tonseth.

The event takes place Monday 3 June at. 14:30 to 17:00 in room XXV, Palais des Nations, Geneva.


Saturday, 1 June 2013


The last time I had a walk with Buddha, we were in Christiania. He had no teeth.
The sun shone, and new spring leaves tickled the air, as gentle breezes danced above our heads. A chilly, spring day. Copenhagen has lots of them.
Buddha said, "The only real complaint any human being has, is that they know not the origin of their existence and the meaning of it. Everything else is bullshit."

Buddha. I think you're right.