Belgian Embassy takes #Spirou4Rights Comic Exhibition to the Philippines
By Monsi A. Serrano
Spirou Magazine is published by Editions Dupuis, one of the leading European publishers of comics. Its catalogue includes iconic characters such as The Smurfs, Billy & Buddy, The Bluecoats, Petit Spirou, Lucky Luke, Largo Winch, Gaston Lagaffe, and The Marsupilami.
In 2018, the world celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and SPIROU Magazine which was published by Editions Dupuis (Belgium), worked in partnership with the United Nations Human Rights Office to illustrate the 30 articles of the HR Universal Declaration.
The Embassy of Belgium and Alliance Française de Manille (AFM) bring this colourful comic exhibition around the Philippines. It was first unveil led at AFM last December 2018 then proceeded to the European International School in Paranaque City last March 2019.
For the whole month of April 2019, our brave human rights defender Spirou goes to the Commission of the Human Rights in Quezon City. The comic exhibition is free and open to the public.
As background, since its creation in 1938, Spirou magazine has conveyed human values through its emblematic authors and iconic characters. The family weekly regularly denounced, defended, questioned, and lent its support to advance human rights. It expressed outrage and allowed generations to open up to the problems around us in a caring and humorous way. The little bellhop Spirou is the mascot of the magazine and its main character.
Spirou magazine joined efforts for the anniversary campaign launched by the UN human rights Office with a special edition of the magazine, dedicated to human rights which was released on October 10, 2018.
There are 30 articles of the Declaration that are depicted by Spirou’s most talented artists and authors like Émile Bravo, Sente and Juillard, Libon, Nob, Derib, Cossu and Bocquet, Delaf and Dubuc, Achdé, Batem, Verron, Yoann and Vehlmann, Cyprien and Paka, Jousselin and many others…
In addition, a #spirou4rights exhibition dedicated to human rights and the Declaration which was shown at the Geneva United Nations Headquarters last October and it was also exhibited to different places like Brussels, Erevan, Dakar and was relayed by the Institut Français and Alliance Française network around the world.
In order to provide the valuable information about #spirou4rights and give chance to as many people as possible about the universal values of the Declaration, the exhibition is available online in three languages: English, French and Spanish, which is downloadable and printable format, and can be exhibited in various places such as schools, libraries, booksellers, companies, and cultural centers.
Spirou fight inequalities protected the weak and showed courage and generosity. Some of the value of the Declaration of Human rights are echoed in his behaviour. That’s why Spirou is now a Human Rights Champion of the UN Human Rights Office.
His commitment to the rights of others is represented by his salute #spirou4rights, two fingers together pointed upwards. Launched on 14 September during the Brussels Comic Strip Festival, the Spirou salute was made by hundreds of visitors to show their support for human rights and shared on social media with the hashtag #spirou4rights.