Anniversary – an act of memory


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Anniversary – an act of memory: solo, collective and multi-lingual recitations from memory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Monica Ross and Co-Recitors from Scarborough communities.

Saturday 29th October 2011 at 1.00pm
Scarborough Library & Information Centre
Vernon Road, Scarborough YO11 2NN

Free to participate, or just enjoy the event and meet like-minded  people.

Anniversary ― an act of memory is a performance series in 60 acts focusing on the  importance and relevance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Are you passionate about Human Rights?  Crescent Arts and Scarborough Library are inviting people from across the Borough of  Scarborough and the region to take part in a collective recitation of the Universal Declaration  of Human Rights with artist Monica Ross. Take this chance to learn a small part of the  Declaration of Human Rights and recite it in public, in your own language, as part of  this unique performance.

What matters to you?  Whether your concern is local, national or global and focuses on family, discrimination,  the environment or access to education, employment, and healthcare for example,  you’ll find it’s reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The document gives pause for thought, in a period of uncertainty when access to social  services, information and support is under threat, yet most needed to sustain basic human rights.

Scarborough Library and Information Centre with Crescent Arts seek to highlight the  importance of access to (and sharing of) experience, information, knowledge, education  and creativity through support networks which take considerable time, resources and personal  commitment to build up and which can be so easily and thoughtlessly eroded.

Scarborough Library is an ideal location for the project as it represents a key  local resource that not only acts as a gateway to free information, knowledge  and opportunities for informal learning, creativity and expression but it is also  a democratic space that allows access to everyone. 

Lend your voice.  Everyone is welcome and we hope that the recitation will fully reflect the many voices  and languages of Scarborough’s communities. We wish to include many speakers and  are interested in hearing Articles from the Declaration memorised and recited in many  different languages including British Sign Language.

The emphasis is not on perfect recall, but on the attempt to remember and  the difficulty of fulfilling the Declaration’s call to keep it ‘constantly in mind’,  especially when under pressure.

Anniversary – a brief history:

Monica Ross challenged herself to learn the Declaration of Human Rights by heart,  following the shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes in July 2005.  She began the Anniversary series in 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the UDHR  and so far over 30 recitations have taken place in contexts as disparate as  The House of Commons, Brighton seafront, a private flat, art galleries, universities and  even an opera, and with more than 250 co-recitors of all ages from different communities  and professions memorising and publicly reciting articles of significance to them in over  30 languages. Her aim is to achieve at least 60 solo and collective recitations.

The UDHR is the world’s most translated document and can be downloaded in over 370 languages from 

You can find out more about Anniversary – an act of memory here

You can see video from previous collective recitations here:

If you, your group, or organisation would like to take part, please get in touch with 

Karen Atkinson at Scarborough Library on 0845 034 9563

Stuart Cameron at Crescent Arts on 01723 351461
by email (subject: anniversary):