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Thursday, 26 September 2013 10:09

Dr Ashfaq Ishaq judges slavery memorial for UN

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The International Child Art Foundation's founder and chairman Dr. Ashfaq Ishaq was one of the five judges the United Nations had appointed for the selection of the final design for the UN Slavery Memorial. The judges met at the UN Headquarters in New York on August 26-30, 2013 to interview the semifinalists and evaluate their maquettes.

The other four judges were: architect Nadia Bakhurji (Saudi Arabia), artist and curator Dr. David Boxer (Jamaica), curator and cultural advisor Dominique Fontaine (Canada), and African history professor Michael Gomez (USA).

More than 300 design entries were received by the UN in response to its competition announcement. In the first phase, the UN selected 16 semi-finalists whose designs were the best and conformed to the competition criteria. In June 2013 the five appointed judges selected seven finalists from the 16 semi-finalists. Up to this point it was a blind competition, but with the identification of the finalists the judges were provided information on the contestants who were: Jaime Castellanos (France/Colombia), Sofia Castelo (Portugal), Carlos Gondolfi and his team (Italy), Nicolas Grun and Pierre Laurent (France), Pertti Kukkonen (Finland), Rodney Leon (USA), and Hangxi Wang (China).

All seven finalists (individuals and their teams) were interviewed by the judges on August 27 and 28, 2013 at the UN headquarters in New York. Each finalist had 45 minutes to make their presentations, explain their maquettes, and answer the judges' questions.

After deliberations on August 29th, the judges reached a unanimous decision which they presented to the Permanent Memorial Committee on August 30, 2013. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon unveiled the chosen design on 23 Sept. The video below shows all the designs and you can find out more about the winning design on the UN's website.

'The UN Slavery Memorial is a significant step for humanity to confront and reconcile with its past, hence paving the way for a better future for all,' said Dr. Ishaq. 'The selected design will be a source of healing and inspiration to Africans and African-Americans as well as victims of other atrocities in the world.'

About the International Child Art Foundation

The ICAF has served as the leading art and creativity organization for American children and their international counterparts since 1997. The ICAF organizes the Arts Olympiad, the world's largest and most prestigious art program for children, and produces the World Children's Festival. The ICAF was founded by Dr. Ishaq, an exceptional multi-disciplinary thinker who has written for journals on the arts, conflict resolution, culture, cybertherapy, economics, education, finance, and medicine.

An interview we conducted with Dr Ishaq will be published shortly along with a review of his latest book.

Last modified on Monday, 30 September 2013 11:01

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