Information and Human Rights, Part II Semester’s end: The short of it.Posted: May 13, 2018
Now that the semester is coming to an end, and the final product is ready to print, it is time to revisit the semester, and examine the outcomes in terms of learning objectives and my expectation as described in the first blog post.
I hope to provide a detailed report on the semester in forthcoming posts. I documented the semester quite carefully and will include class notes, photographs, updates on discussion and on mapping information and human rights, and more.
But for now, I can say as follows: We produced two posters that depict the students’ conceptual map of information and human rights. It is a result or a truly participatory design concept, although the polished poster owes a lot to the design skills of one student.
Under the title Navigating Human Rights, Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the crafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), represents the Common Good. Her left [robotic] are represents the Infrastructure (in terms of hardware and software) of information and human rights and the right arm represents the Legal Framework (laws, treaties, case law). The arms are holding onto the boat wheel which represents Access.
The concepts, represented as words or symbols, are “tattooed” onto the arms, “engraved” onto the wheel, they decorate the pill hat sailor Roosevelt’s head, and adorn the shirt.
Infrastructure (the robotic left blue arm) includes references to equipment such as satellite, broad band and electricity to providing available, affordable and accessible information as a human right. In keeping with one of the class themes of exploring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), strong infrastructure supports many of the UN’s SDGs, in particular goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
The Legal Framework arm is tattooed with a quote from Article 19 on the UDHR in the five official languages on the UN: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The legal framework also supports SDG #16: … provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
The wheel of Access depicts the processional organizations that support access to information, such as ALA and IFLA, the SDG directly related to access, specifically goal 4: quality education and goal 10: reduced inequality.
The Common Good highlights the theorists and writers whose thoughts and philosophies contributed to shaping our understanding of information and human rights this semester, specifically James Baldwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum and Manuel Castells.
The corresponded second poster provides more explanation and sources for the concepts in the first poster.
In the next few weeks I will provide more details on how the we developed the design concepts, as well as highlight some student work and some thoughts about the learning outcomes of the project.