Weights and Measures: Portraits of Justice is an exhibition of new portraits by international artist Bradley McCallum, curated by Natasha Becker and Kara Blackmore, presented at Constitution Hill and the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Center 1-30 April 2017.
International artist Bradley McCallum explores the complexities involved in holding powerful men accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. His project is titled “Weights & Measures: Portraits of Justice” and includes more than 80 portraits of defendants standing trial, justice practitioners involved in courts and human rights, as well as audio-portraits from survivors of international crimes.
With April, deemed genocide awareness month, looming around the corner, we are reminded of the places that have been plagued by extreme identity-based violence; from the former Yugoslavia, to Cambodia, Rwanda and of course the Holocaust of European Jewry. “From Nuremberg to the ICC, where are we now?” asks Tali Nates, director of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre.
African states have been battling over whether to remain or withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, Director of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) calls “the revocation of the notice of withdrawal to the United Nations Secretary General, together with the withdrawal of the Repeal Bill before Parliament positive and progressive developments in the fight against impunity for atrocity crimes.”
Despite the fact that the majority of critiques of the ICC come from Africa, African countries make up the largest number of signatories to the Rome Statute and are part of a long legacy in the global fight against impunity.
As we grapple with understanding South Africa’s obligations to uphold the rule of law and protect the victims of egregious crimes, and remember the legacy of genocide across the world, the portraits in Weights & Measures illuminate these issues by making visible the often invisible aspects of international justice in courts and tribunals.
Our opening reception at the JHGC included a special message from Ben Ferencz, the last surviving prosecutor of the Nuremberg Tribunals. As well as a dialogue with, the visiting artist Bradley McCallum (USA), curator Natasha Becker (SA), and Kara Blackmore (UK), transitional justice researcher from Firoz Lalji Africa Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
This exhibition was made possible with the generous support of the Canadian High Commission. The exhibition is on show from 28 March to the 30 April 2017.