Chennai Reads: an evening of readings, presentations and discussion on human rights
On 10 December 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a groundbreaking document which outlined the 30 fundamental rights that people - across the world, are entitled to. The theme of this year's initiative at the seventh lnternational Literature Festlval, Berlin is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Further, with the intent of reigniting the spirit of the declaration and to emphasise its enduring relevance and universality there is also a call for a Worldwide Reading and Discussion today.
Chennai Reads, an event in association with UDHR draws attention to human rights issues by organising public readings of thematic texts, presentations on human rights issues and panel discussions. UDHR and its core values including non-discrimination, equality, fairness and universality that apply to everyone everywhere. The UDHR not only belongs to and protects everyone but also enshrines the gamut of human rights. In the Goethe- Institute auditorium, a multilingual reading of the articles of the UDHR will be followed by a panel discussion set against the backdrop of 30 articles of the UDHR that have stood the test of time.
The event will feature Anitha Thampi, Malayalam poet and translator; Mamta Sagar, academic translator, Kannada poet and playwright and Sukirtharani, teacher and Tamil Dalit poet. The list of panelists includes R.Nataraj, MLA and Former DGP Tamilnadu; Sashi Kumar, Chairman, Asian College of Journalism and Suhrith Parthasarathy, Writer and Attorney, Madras High Court.
Human rights education encourages individuals to understand everyone's common responsibility to make human rights a reality in each community. Upholding this belief and devised in collaboration with the Departments of English and Criminology- University of Madras, this program aims to promote awareness about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). After a thematic poetry reading in Malayalam Kannada and Tamil and interaction with the poets, there will be a presentation by the postgraduate students and research scholars focusing on the standards set by human rights instruments such as the UDHR. The following event will also take place on 6 September 2017
Anitha Thampi is a Malayalam poet and translator living in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India who has published three collections of poetry. In 2007, a collection of her translations of Australian poet Les Murray was published in a bilingual edition. She has also translated I Saw Rama/lah, autobiographical
monologue of Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti into Malayalam and her other translated works include the Soanish classic Platero and land the ltalian classic Pinocchio.
Mamta Sagar, is an academic, poet, translator and playwright writing in the Kannada language. She has four collections of poems, four plays, an anthology of column writing, a collection of critical essays on gender, language, literature and culture in Kannada and English and a book on Slovenian-Kannada Literature Interactions to her credit.
Sukirtharani is a Dalit poet and teacher with five publications to her credit. Through her poems, she has taken up the cause ofthe caste system and the plight of women who are oppressed by it. she has won many awards and many of her poems are part of syllabi in colleges across the State.