1948, the United Nations General Assembly approves and proclaims the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 30 articles issued by men for men to protect them from themselves.
A declaration of principles, made up of non-binding and even not exhortative sentences – like a child’s scribbles on a restaurant tablecloth.
Ethereal concepts that fade into the harsh reality of facts and world news.

Queen, News of the World, 1977 – Frank Kelly Freas is contacted by Roger Taylor to replicate on the cover, the image he had drawn on the October ’53 issue of Analog.
The band dead bodies, the blood on the metal finger of the monster and his eyes: sad,shocked, melancholic and incredulous in front of the horror that he caused himself.
It has always reminded me of the famous cannibalistic-family portrait by Goya, Saturno devorando a su hijo, 1821-1823: from the green bottleneck of the album cover to the black tar of the painting is not that long, a leap from one Pantone line to another one.
We said 30 articles, 30 acts deliberated by the main institution of the UN. 30 against the 82 engravings produced by the Spanish painter, before the iconic devouring Saturn: Los desastres de la guerra.

How much irreverence, the representatives of 193 countries succeeded in finding only 30 rights for men, while an artist straddling the ancient and the modern manages, alone, to find 82 representations of atrocious violations of those.        

Non binding and non exhortative principles – a question arises spontaneously: does anyone resist the clash with life? Here’s the actual report:

Art 3 – drowned in the Mediterranean sea in the desperate attempt to save his children
 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person

Art 5 – has exhaled, exhausted, in a Kabul bunker
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Art 6 – fell down the stairs of the Rome jail
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Art 8 – disfigured with acid by his jealous companion
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Art 12 – hanged after the last bully attack
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks

Art 19 – stoned
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Art 26 (2) – died humiliated, in a fight with the Italian Minister of Education
Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace

Still many missing and bodies left to be submitted for recognition.

By Antonio Floriani

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