Wednesday, November 02, 2011


I pass this poster every Monday, in the building where I teach a class on Human Rights. Seeing it always induces a kind of cognitive dissonance, as my class is explicitly not a defence of human rights, but a critique. I happen to think that that's the business of universities: critique, questioning, critical reflection.

Anyhow, the poster is an advert for UBC, featuring a solitary figure on a mountain top and with the slogan "Human Rights Defended... From here." I have little idea what it's supposed to mean, and there's not a word of explanation either on the poster itself or anywhere on the UBC website. The image certainly doesn't seem to have much to do either with the university or with human rights.

Any ideas?


Dr_John2006 said...

A melancholic nostalgia for the Romantic nationalism one also finds in Caspar David Friedrich's The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog: 

posthegemony said...

That's perfect, John.

Monnie said...

This sort of campaign from UBC doesn't really suprise me. I just looked up their "place of mind campaign" slogan and it is: "UBC is takling the worlds biggest problems from here, with you" and then goes on to highlight three news stories, one of which is: "Poor Weather conditions, find out if classes are cancelled." 

Perhaps they should start addressing issues of stigma and discrimination on campus before claiming to tackling the worlds biggest problems, such as Human Rights which is clearly identified in the poster?