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SE1 children recite Universal Declaration of Human Rights from memory

Children from the Cathedral School of St Saviour and St Mary Overy joined artist Monica Ross in Southwark Cathedral to recite the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from memory on Tuesday lunchtime.

SE1 children recite Universal Declaration of Human Rights from memory
Photo: Southwark Diocesan Communications

This month Monica Ross has been working with children from Cathedral School to internalise the rights and responsibilities to which every human being is entitled.

Cathedral School was the first school in the borough to achieve a Rights Respecting School Award from UNICEF.

Children from class 4 joined Monica in Southwark Cathedral on Tuesday afternoon in a collective public recitation from memory – of the entire text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

This unusual feat was part of 'Anniversary an act of memory' a series of solo, collective and multi-lingual recitations of the declaration. This act, Act 47, was also the first to be delivered by children.

The 'act of memory' series began in response to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by police in Stockwell in 2005. It then evolved into the 'Anniversary' series, the first act of which was performed solo by Monica Ross to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the declaration in 2008.

Since then more than 500 co-recitors of all ages from different communities have memorised and publicly recited articles of significance to them in more than 40 languages.

Tuesday's event was presented by the Lambeth-based Beaconsfield gallery.

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