ONE FOR ALL, ALL FOR ONE // Human Rights Poster Exhibit at UN SDG Festival of Action in Bonn, May 2-4


#WalkTogether for Peace, Freedom and Human Rights

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations seek “to realize the human rights of all.”  Last year, Bonnections and the “Im Namen der Wellen” Initiative joined together with artists and community volunteers to create a site-specific arts performance and local edition of the “One for All, All for One” exhibit. The poster exhibit, which is part of the global #StandUp4HumanRights campaign to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UN Human Rights declaration, will be displayed this week at the UN SDG Global Festival of Action.

The festival brings together more than 1,500 political decision-makers, activists, experts, business leaders and creatives from over 130 countries at the World Conference Centre in Bonn from May 2 to 4. The 3-day conference, organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign, aims to share different perspectives, test and accelerate new ideas, and build an environment where the SDGs become a priority for political engagement, democratic participation and personal behaviour.

For the “One for All, All for One” exhibit renowned graphic designers from around the world created a series of posters to illustrate their perception of human rights. These posters were designed in collaboration with the Paris-based NGO Poster for Tomorrow and the UN Human Rights Office. Cities, schools and grassroots initiatives can print and use any of these posters for their local outreach activities. (If you are interested, share your plan with

To spark a conversation and engage local audiences, we used 30 of these posters (one for each article of the UNHRD) and invited residents to show their support for the declaration’s universal principles, human rights defenders and the Global Compact on Refugees & Compact for Migration. The site-specific arts performance took place on December 10th (Human Rights Day) in front of the Old City Hall.

The “catwalk” for Human Rights was inspired by the #WalkTogther Mandela centennial campaign of the Elders. Nelson Mandela, who would have turned 100 last year on July 18 (International Nelson Mandela Day), visited Bonn twice. Bonn was the center of the anti-apartheid movement in West Germany. Many Bonners also met him during his historic visits to the former capital in June 1990, just four months after his release from prison, and in May 1996 during his state visit as South Africa’s first black president.

Handshake of Two Freedom Fighters – Willy Brandt invited Nelson Mandela to Bonn in 1990 after his release from prison. (Photo: Thomas Imo/ Friedrich Ebert Stiftung)

Mandela’s legacy can be seen in the SDGs, as they provide a continuation of his lifelong work to eradicate poverty, inequality and injustice. As Mandela said: “As long as poverty, injustice, and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”

To symbolically continue his long walk to freedom and celebrate the 70th birthday of the Human Rights Declaration, by-passers were invited to pick one of the 30 posters and walk down on a “catwalk” for Human Rights and our shared humanity. A diverse group of about 80 local residents and visitors of all ages, from different backgrounds and walks of life partipated in this artistic rising. A two-minute video clip of the participatory arts performance will be released at the SDG Festival of Action.

DemoArt for Human Rights Video from Im Namen der Wellen.

Following the exhibit at the SDG festival the posters will be displayed again during the local SDG Days (17 events for 17 goals) at the House Mondial of Caritas (May 31 to June 20). See Bonn SDG Days program.


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