SANDER VAN BUSSEL’S TATOOS
By Naomi Barling

Dutch artist Sander van Bussel had a stark realization when he realized many of us knew little about the content of the Declaration of Human Rights. He decided at that moment that he needed to do all he could to bring awareness to this important subject. How is it possible to respect and protect our rights if most people are not even aware of them? Yesterday marked the artists stop off in New York City, and if you had visited 477 Broome Street, he would have tattooed you with a letter at the event titled Human Rights Tattoo, but its not to late. Stop by at North Side Festival on June 13, 14, 2015 to get involved.

Artist and Tilburg Cowboy, van Bussel founded the concept for the Human Rights Tattoo. The Tilburg Cowboys are known for their social innovative artistic concepts in the arena of community art, performance and cultural events for which they received critical acclaim since 2001.

The idea of tattooing the Declaration of Human Rights was conceived after the murder of befriended Kenyan activist Steven ‘Nyash’ Nyagah in 2012. The aim of the project, that could take up to seven years to complete, is to connect people on a human level and on a worldwide scale. This text will be on 6773 people around the world, all from different walks of life, connecting these people as one. Each person has only one letter on his or her skin expressing the important of equality.

This is a community artwork created with, for and by the community. The idea itself provokes a challenging question to all of us, and especially the people willing to commit themselves to these rights by having in inked of their skin. How important is the Declaration of Human Rights and how can we make people more aware?

Van Bussel is now on a mission to tattoo the complete Declaration of Universal Human Rights with all 6773 characters on 6773 citizens around the world. The people involved will have their letters united on a website where every tattoo will be clickable, letting you see who is behind every tattoo with a photo of the tattooed letter, their name, and why they wanted to be involved!

You can see more about this project here.

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