Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cutaway View

The strata-cut style of animation by David Daniels would seem to be very different from digital animation techniques that are driven by software rather than physical materials, but Daniels' animation is achieving attention again long after his heyday doing rock videos in the nineties. (I have owned a slice of Daniels work for many years, which has hung on our walls.) Now Amnesty International leads off its animated version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the United Nations with Daniels' footage.

Hoping to capitalize on post-Olympics interest, they've also made a Chinese-language version of the film for online dissemination. It's worth noting that Amnesty's once bare bones Chinese language page has now been replaced by the China Debate. Users are also encouraged to download lesson plans and PowerPoint slides about human rights in China for use in their own rhetorical presentations.

At the same time, Amnesty is promoting a much less obviously didactic online human rights initiative at, which commemorates this week's anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech of Martin Luther King, Jr. but uses music fandom to establish common ground. Unlike Amnesty's traditional letter-writing campaigns, participants are told that "all you are being asked to do is put your hands up, and join others doing the same across the world to celebrate freedom & great music."

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