And the winner is…
It looks almost like a hand about to take flight on a breeze – as light and delicate as a feather. This effect has not been achieved by accident, as the creator of the winning logo has combined the universally recognized symbols of a hand and a bird. His name is Predrag Stakić, and he has now been honoured in New York as the winner of the global competition to find a human rights logo.
Enlarge image (© Auswärtiges Amt) Announcing Stakić’s design as the winner was the final stage in a global competition which had mobilized people around the world. The goal was to create a globally valid symbol for human rights because, as nearly everybody knows, a heart symbolizes love and a dove stands for peace – but a logo of that order did not yet exist for human rights.
Foreign Minister Westerwelle, patron of the competition, called the awards ceremony with the young Serbian winner “an emotional moment”. As the Foreign Minister put it, the idea had been to find a logo which would be understood in all countries by people from different cultural and language backgrounds. Now, he said, a logo “by the people, for the people” had been found.
Reflecting the core message of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Predrag Stakić is a freelance graphic designer and lives in Belgrade. The 32 year old Serbian came up with the idea for his logo while reading the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Enlarge image (© Auswärtiges Amt) Speaking at the awards ceremony, he explained that it was supposed to reflect the message at the core of the Declaration, namely that human rights are the foundation on which to build a world of freedom, justice and peace. The principle of sharing, Stakić said, was the essence of human relations, and everybody ought to be able to develop fully and freely as a human being. He therefore calls his design “Free as a man”. From now on, it is available to anyone who wants to use it. The two runners-up, who also received awards that evening, are from Greece and Egypt respectively.
Enlarge image (© Auswärtiges Amt) An online vote narrowed the field down to 100 designs. It was from among those that an international jury selected the ten finalists. The members of the jury included Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi, Jimmy Carter, Muhammad Yunus and Shirin Ebadi, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Columbian musician Juanes. The ten finalists chosen by the Jury were then put to the vote again, with people around the world able to vote for their favourites until 17 September by visiting www.humanrightslogo.net.
At the awards ceremony in New York, TV presenter Ann Curry called to mind Mohammed Bouazizi, the young Tunisian man who set himself on fire in desperation at the end of 2010 and thus helped spark the massive changes that have since swept the Arab world. Bouazizi’s mother and sister attended the ceremony as guests of honour. Human rights activist Angelina Atyam from Uganda said that human rights were Enlarge image (© Auswärtiges Amt) something that people on all continents needed. She expressed her conviction that “This logo brings humanity together as a family.” Video messages were played from Shirin Ebadi, Juanes, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay and Aung San Suu Kyi, among others, and there was a live performance by singer Jessye Norman.
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