Universal Declaration of Human Rights, animated

Over at Coolhunting, Tim Yu has a post up about this amazing video by Seth Brau:

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, CH friend and colleague Seth Brau recently completed the rather daunting task of bringing the words to life with motion graphics. The result is on one hand elegant – using a two-tone palette, linear – and on the other an experimental take on scale, the use of typography and symbolism.

Given complete creative freedom and a little over a month's time, Seth used a mix of After Effects and Illustrator to seamlessly connect the 30 articles of the document into a captivating piece. In this case, no plan was the best plan. Seth comments, "There were times when I had no idea what I was going to do for the next section of the document. I would churn out something that I would hate but in that process I would come up with the idea, layout or imagery for something I ended up developing and liking."

View in larger size/higher-def here: www.humanrightsactioncenter.org. Created by Seth Brau, Produced by Amy Poncher, Music by Rumspringa courtesy Cantora Records. (Thanks, Susannah Breslin)


  1. Amazing, after a few moments, I though this would be a great music video. I’m sure Seth, if he’s interested, will be offered a lot of work in the music video industry after creating something this incredible.

    I’d love to see it synced with Tool’s Lateralus.

  2. Great video, but it fails to mention Article 29, which includes the line “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

  3. Article 29 … (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.


    I assumed this was a troll until I read Article 29 for myself.

  4. wouldn’t it be cool to see this screened in the cinema (once? just once?) before some high-budget hollywood product instead of the ubiquitous and numbing car, tv, and military recruitment ads?

  5. Thanks, Xeni. My heart throbbed along with the message of the video, and your little joke in the signature almost made me fall off my couch laughing. You are a person of quiet humor indeed.

  6. OK 2 and 4, next line:
    Article 30.

    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.


    Article 1
    The Purposes of the United Nations are:

    1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

    2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

    3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

    4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

    Article 2
    The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.

    1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.

    2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.

    3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

    4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

    5. All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.

    6. The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.

    7. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.

    you gotta problem wit dat?

  8. Didn’t the UN put Libya in charge of human rights years ago? Didn’t Kofi Annan, among other, siphon money from the Oil for Food program? I’m bad at this, I’m sure others could name other bad things done by the UN.

    If the UN were to be ran, adhering to it’s PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES as posted by Takuan, then I would probably accept the US’s involvement with the UN.

    1. Didn’t the UN put Libya in charge of human rights years ago? Didn’t Kofi Annan, among other, siphon money from the Oil for Food program?

      If you’d like to provide links to credible news sources for those accusations, I promise not to disemvowel them.

  9. Takuan linked to the Libya article that I found. hrd bt nnn’s bs f th l-fr-Fd Prgrm n th nws. fnd n rtcl spprtng t n < hrf="http://n.wkpd.rg/wk/l-fr-Fd_Prgrmm" rl="nfllw">wkpd, ndr “bs.” ddn’t srch hrd fr nnn’s l fr Fd thng, ssmd t ws cmmn knwldg. n cs t ws prvn t b ntr r xggrtd, shld sy, t ws nt my ntnt t pst fls nfrmtn bt th mn. jst rcll t bng tlkd bt n th nws.

  10. What the hell is wrong with the United Nations? Like all human organizations it had, has, and will have its problems; too bad, but so what? It was nobly conceived and bravely undertaken. I remember when it first convened. It was universally welcomed and received by what was left of the world.

    I later served under the UN flag, and I am not alone in having done so. Many men and women have proudly worn its colors. It is a distinction not without honor.

    TOM HALE, When you say “We don’t like the United Nations,” you are speaking for yourself, goddamnit, and don’t you forget it.

  11. I read it once – the US was against Libya being elected chairman of the United Nations human rights commission, as was (unnamed) human rights groups and Amnesty International.

    It also says, “Human Rights Watch conceded that Libya had made “some positive commitments” since its nomination to the UN Commission.”

    I’ll read it again in the morning – bedtime.

  12. #7, ty for pointing that out, I will try and find some way to do as Xeni has done in whatever way I can.

    This video moved me, thank you for posting it. My immediate thought is that this should be shown to every person in every school, company, or home in the world. It should be translated in to as many languages as possible.

    And as for the UN not being as pure as the driven snow, does anyone Really think an organisation that large is going to be without corruption, at some levels, in some way? It Is made up of humans, and we’re not always altruistic. Most of us have exploited ‘the system’ in some way or another when we think we can get away with it.

    working to be more than just one person striving to eek out an existence and actually contribute to something greater is part of what caused the UN to be founded in the first place.

  13. @ 20 Gadgets123
    The US Bill of Rights is about limiting the power of one nation as regards its citizens. The UN Declaration of Human Rights is about safeguarding the rights of individuals against governments, no matter what the government is. These are rights guaranteed regardless of national status.
    Privileges would be guarantees made to one group against/above another – the sheer universality of these rights precludes that.

    Brilliant video. Absolutely loved it.

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