Human Rights Pavilion

The Human Rights Pavilion is an evolving artwork by renowned Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen, initiated at the same time of the 58th Venice Biennale of ArtMay you live in Interesting Times, in collaboration with the Global Campus of Human Rights, Fondazione Berengo and MOUTH Foundation.


With the Human Rights Pavilion, Vanmechelen explores the complexities of human nature, the possibility of a universal concept of human rights and the role of art in its development. He presents nature as a human right and contemplates its safeguarding in the Anthropocene, the era in which the human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems reaches critical proportions.


Vanmechelen’s tools include both living and non-living materials: wood, marble, glass, ceramics, photography, living animal installations, as well as video messages, correspondence, private conversations, round table settings, cafes, academic debates, and accidental encounters.


The Pavilion develops over a period of 18 months at different global locations and through a wide variety of partners. It is built up of three chapters: SoTO Dialogues, SoTO Environment, and SoTO legacy. SoTO which is short for Survival of the Other gives a name to the different chapters and weaves the Vanmechelen’s fundamental philosophy through the various elements of the work: every organism needs another organism to survive.


At the end of 2020, all inputs are consolidated by the artist and reworked into a unifying OPUS, a collective memory of our moment in time and space, which will be presented to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Commission and to the President and Curator of the 59th Venice Biennale of Art with a call to establish a recurrent supra-national Pavilion of Human Rights as part of the Venice Biennale of Art.


Follow our different exhibitions, events, and developments.

We will celebrate the initiation of the Human Rights Pavilion at Fondazione Berengo Art Space, Campiello della Pescheria, Murano, Venice - Italy, on 8 May 2019 at 16.00 with a private event (more info at


One of the main topics of the artistic research is related to the Rights of the Child linked to the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty coordinated by the GC Secretary-General, Manfred Nowak.


Cosmocafe - world tour from Koen Vanmechelen on Vimeo.


Follow us #Art4HumanRights #HumanRightsPavilion

Human Rights Pavilion

Global Campus of Human Rights
Koen Vanmechelen 
Fondazione Berengo
Mouth Foundation
Thanks to our Media Partners which contribute actively with the growth of the Human Rights Pavilion community all over the world:
Like Agency, ACT Responsible, VITA International.
Thanks to the donors of the first crowdfunding campaign of the Human Rights Pavilion:
Gianluigi Bresciani, Vlasta Grabovac, Adriano Remiddi, Isabella Primicerio, Shering Chen, Alan Chen, Aquei Lee Papillon, Bertrand Favreau, Tommy Meduri, Roberto Paladini, Patrizia Spinetta, Silvia Busacca, Anna Zenz, Tiziano Inguanotto.
And the many participants that attended the fundraising event at Palazzo Franchetti last year. Your support was invaluable to the project.
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