The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is an internationally recognised university-based institution combining academic excellence and effective activism to advance human rights, particularly in Africa. It aims to contribute to advancing human rights, through education, research and advocacy.
We were requested to create a short animation that helped raise awareness and inform the public about the role of the Centre for Human Rights, and celebrate their 20 years as an influential institution for the progress of social justice and inequality in South Africa society. This video was used at their 20 year celebration as well as on their website.
In the PSA “Catalyst for Change” the story of our country is told through means of metaphorical symbolisms. We decided to head in this direction because South Africa has a rich history of stories that tell of brave characters that had to undergo some sort of change, or break from their past, or make some sort of sacrifice to be stronger and better for the future.
The story we wanted to tell is about a country that needed change and all the hardships it had to endure to get where it is today.
The character of our country and the journey it has been on the last 20 years is depicted and takes the shape of a young girl, a girl that starts out surrounded by the uncertain, desolate darkness of Apartheid. Some change is needed, required even. The flames of change engulf her, and so her journey begins.
Before she can become empowered and free, the forces of corruption and inequality attack her, defenceless against it she crumbles time after time.
Then, in 1994, she becomes empowered and strong, with the new Constitution and the Centre for Human Rights to protect her she is powerful, almost unstoppable now.
This can be clearly seen when the girl’s pose changes, and she becomes strong. She physically gets stronger, and starts to fight back – standing up for herself as a new being. Even the colours change, they appear brighter, with the new flag depicted in the background colours, this is the new South Africa – this is what our freedom means to our country. We are stronger now, we have changed and grown and adapted. And this is all thanks to the Centre for Human Rights and the role they’ve played as the catalyst for change.