Human rights at Te Papa

What do you think of when you hear the words ‘human rights’?

This week Te Papa hosted a fantastic and thought-provoking conference on human rights in museums with the theme: ‘Access is a human right’. Federation of International Human Rights Museums

Speakers from around the world shared their experiences, and we shared ours – from Gallipoli: The scale of our war to Whiti Te Rā! The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira to The Mixing Room: Stories from young refugees In New Zealand.

Entranceway to The Mixing Room exhibition at Te Papa

Entrance to The Mixing Room exhibition (photograph by Kate Whitley, Te Papa MA_I.302074)

The Mixing Room exhibition

The interesting thing about The Mixing Room is that it’s now five years old but more important than ever with recent events in Europe.

The Mixing Room explores the human right to protection from persecution. It tells extraordinary stories by young refugees, showing the human face beyond humanitarian crises.

When we first developed The Mixing Room there were almost no refugees coming to New Zealand from Syria, so their stories didn’t feature in the exhibition. Since then, millions of people have been displaced since the Syrian crisis began.

The New Zealand government has committed to resettling 750 Syrian refugees in New Zealand over the next two and a half years. They will follow similar journeys to the young people in our exhibition.

Group of refugee background youth posing for the camera.

Refugee background youth who helped develop The Mixing Room (photograph by Kate Whitley, Te Papa)

If you want to find out how they are building hopeful new lives in this country, and how New Zealanders welcomed them, come visit The Mixing Room exhibition on level 4 of Te Papa.

If you would like to help with refugee resettlement, contact the Red Cross.

One Response

  1. vera

    Gosh, I never new about The Mixing Room and will certainly spend some time exploring there. ‘Access is a human right’ should become a slogan!


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