Time for Rights


by Tim Kindberg

Time for Rights is a global art project for young people around the world to have their say about human rights. It is the first commission of 1215.today, an initiative led by the University of Lincoln (UK) and funded by Arts Council England, to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

Similarly to the Circuit programme, our goal is to make a positive difference for young people. We do this in two main ways: first, by engaging them in creating videos about issues they care about; second, by inspiring them to act collectively and thus to make a stand for human rights, while acknowledging and manifesting the diversity of their views. Time for Rights is creating a global video event. At 12:15 on International Youth Day, 12th August 2015, young people will record and upload short videos to tell us about the human right they care most about. They’ll contribute knowing that others do so at exactly the same time, as an act of solidarity. The videos will be posted on Instagram. We will also draw upon them to create a powerful online video mosaic.

Join in, by downloading the Time for Rights app for Android or iPhone via http://1215.today/timeforrights. The app will record a square, 6-second video (or several – maybe you’d like to film your friends as well). We would like to see videos from as diverse and as global a set of people as possible. We would like you to be as creative as you can be, when getting your message across. Your video is a statement about your thoughts and feelings on human rights. It is also art as activism: collectively, the videos will constitute a multi-viewpoint declaration, visible to governments and other decision-making bodies, of how the world’s youth sees the state of human rights. 

You may speak (in your own language) or not; show your face, or not. Perhaps you will simply hold an object or sign. We ask only that you spin as you film. This is partly to achieve a visual harmony in the mosaic we will create. It also symbolises the idea of time: as clock hands turn, as the Earth spins about its axis in a day, and as the Earth spins about the Sun in a year, you will spin wherever you are to mark just one point in time. As a bonus, we’ll also see something of the world around where you stand.

In a sense, we’re running against the trend of the internet, which is mainly asynchronous in the way it works: you post, and I post later. By asking you to act at the same time, we’re hoping to inspire a conscious collectivism.

However, we recognise that not everyone can act at precisely the same time around the globe. So, first, the time is 12:15 wherever you are (12:15 in London, 12:15 in Accra). Second, if you can’t join in at that moment, the app lets you record your video in advance and upload it to us for safekeeping. We will put it in a time vault and will release it on 12th August. In the meantime, you can post the first frame of the video on Instagram, to tell the world what you’ve done.


So, if you care about human rights, join in, and add your video to our global mosaic.

Follow us at @timeforrights, on Twitter and Instagram