On 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. This date is considered an historic milestone in the history of humankind. The declaration’s thirty articles belong to the list of universally recognized values and serve as a foundation for many national constitutions. Despite the recognition afforded human rights, a wide gap still yawns in many countries between claims and reality.
In Leukerbad, we will be presenting a video work by Ulrich Schreiber and Norbert Kron, in which authors, creative artists, children, and students from around the world each read one of the articles in their mother tongue. Subtitled in eight languages, ‘What Matters’ was presented at the Literature Festival Berlin and at the Innsbruck International, the biennale for contemporary art.

In extension of the film ‘What Matters’, Karl Ruprecht and Ali Ghandtschi would like to continue the project by asking creative artists and authors to read one of the articles of human rights in his or her native tongue or dialect in order to incorporate more languages and dialects in the canon of human rights. Assembled into a film with subtitles, it is intended to be shown at literary festivals around the world and on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2018—the 70th anniversary of the declaration—in select political buildings in Germany, France, and Switzerland.

What Matters So far we have been able to record contributions from the following personalities:

Nina Hoss, Germany
David Grossman, Israel
Ai Weiwei, China
Patti Smith, USA
Viktor Yerofeyev, Russia
Elnathan John, Nigeria
Nils Landgren, Sweden
Petina Gappah, Zimbabwe
Goce Smilevski, Macedonia
Herta Müller, Germany/Romania
Eva Mattes, Germany
Elfriede Jelinek, Austria
David Van Reybrouck, Belgium
Wolf Biermann, Germany
Vivienne Westwood, Great Britain
Can Dündar, Turkey
Matina Gedeck, Germany
Haris Vlavianos, Greece
Pankaj Mishra, India
Paata Shamugia, Georgia
Anna Weidenholzer, Germany
Maite Carranza, Catalonia
Fadhil Al-Azzawi, Iraq
Simon Rattle, Great Britain
Lina Meruane, Chile
Jennifer Clement, USA/Mexico
Olena Herasymyuk, Ukraine
Alida Bremer, Croatia
Michael Krüger, Germany
Bora Ćosić, Serbia
Peter Schneider, Germany
Bakhtyar Ali, Irak/Kurdistan
Serhij Zhadan, Ukraine
Rafael Cardoso, Brasil
Nora E. Gomringer, Switzerland/Germany
Janne Teller, Denmark
Jan Koneffke, Germany
Peter Stefan Jungk, Germany/USA
Priya Basil, Great Britain
Salman Rushdie, Great Britain/India


24th Leukerbad International Literary Festival
28 to 30 June 2019