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21st Century Human Rights Paintings

The Black Portraits

These Human Rights paintings, The Black Portraits, record, remember and celebrate the lives of twenty Human Rights Champions of the twenty-first century with twenty stories and twenty paintings.

The twenty champions, from around the world, have all been imprisoned or killed defending human rights. Some have now been released and their actual portraits are included in exhibitions when possible.

Each painting shows something of the story and the tragedy on a large canvas with the recognisable head of the human rights champion painted only in thick black paint.

Exhibition of the paintings and the associated events and schools learning programme give continuing awareness of The Human Rights Champions’ and their fellow citizens’ plight and the governance of their country together with the need for improved social justice in all countries.

The human rights champions in this project are or have been in prison or have died. Each has questioned the governance of their country. They have put their head above the parapet in the quest for information, transparency and social justice for their fellow citizens.

The project was started in October 2010 and since then some have been released from detainment. It is within the scope of this project to paint the actual portaits of those that are released. For this Paul Piercy travels to their home to meet and paint them.

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