Amnesty International Celebrates 50th Anniversary.

Amnesty International’s 50th Anniversary is tomorrow, May 28th, and this is just a quick post showing off their latest promotional video in celebration of that. They certainly went a bleak route, full of gunshots and burning torsos — but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The video, Standing Up For Freedom was produced by Eallin Motion Art & DreamLife Studio, a world-renowned international motion art production company based in the Czech Republic. Directed by Carlos Lascano, the video’s aesthetic and art value are rather accessible — but it is the tale that is of particular interest. The piece “takes viewers on a metaphorical journey showing mankind’s struggle for freedom over the last 50 years,” the overarching sentiment that freedom may be suppressed at times, but always prevails.

The accompanying music was contributed by composers Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe, with contributions from renowned musicians around the world including from the United States, Canada, Russia, United Kingdom, France and Switzerland.

“It was a tremendous honor to write a piece of music that embodies the courage and spirit of Amnesty members, who have saved lives, tackled injustices, and upheld the principles of human rights for an amazing 50 years,” said Zimmer and Balfe. “We hope the music helps to highlight the profound impact this organization has had on the lives of millions around the world. We are truly inspired by them.”

The mini-documentary below will give you more information about what the organization itself actually does.

They are also issuing a global call to action for tomorrow:

Amnesty International will observe its 50th anniversary by issuing a global call to action on Saturday, May 28, the day in 1961 when its founder published an appeal for amnesty for six prisoners unjustly imprisoned; the enormous response led to the founding of Amnesty International, today the world’s largest human rights organization. The birthday comes as the group’s defining tactic of collective action is validated as a model of transformative change across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

“Since the Amnesty International candle first shone a light on the world’s hellholes, there has been ahuman rights revolution. The call for freedom, justice and dignity has moved from the margins and is now a truly global demand,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International secretary general.

The organization said that despite progress, human rights violations are at the heart of key challenges facing the world today and everyone has a role in addressing them.

“This video illustrates the struggles people endure to be free and live with dignity,” said Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA executive director. “We are seeing that struggle continue as hundreds of thousands of people are taking to the streets in the Middle East and North Africa to make sure their human rights are respected and governments that continue to repress and subjugate are held accountable.

“It is a pivotal time in world history, and we cannot let this opportunity pass. The time to act is now– demand that human rights are not an afterthought but at the core of how people across the world live,” said Cox.

For half a century Amnesty International –has borne witness to abuses and atrocities, has offered hope to the oppressed and forgotten, and has campaigned with innovation and determination for justice. It has played a leading role in making torturers international outlaws, in ending the untouchable status of leaders accused of human rights crimes and in achieving unstoppable momentum toward a death penalty-free world.

In 1977, Amnesty International was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

More than 60 countries from Argentina to Ghana to Turkey to New Zealand to the United States will pay tribute to the tale of two Portuguese students imprisoned for raising their glasses to liberty – an injustice that so outraged British lawyer Peter Benenson that he launched Amnesty International on May 28, 1961.

To honor Benenson’s legacy, Amnesty International will hold a celebration at St. Martin-in-the-Fields church, in London on May 28. This is where Benenson forged the idea that ordinary people working together could prevent injustice and defend freedom and human rights for all. The program will include remarks by AI Secretary General Salil Shetty, readings by author Michael Morpurgo and actor Colin Salmon, and a performance by celebrated soprano Elianne Pretorian.

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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