George McBean, Graphic Designer
'Imagine a street artist who draws reasonable portraits and who gathers a crowd to watch him sketch… then ship this artist into a refugee camp in Somalia and ask him to draw the people he sees, doing things that will help them save their children’s lives. Crowds gather round and the artist’s skill suddenly becomes as important as medicine.'
George McBean is a film animator and illustrator, born in Scotland in 1948. He retired as Head of UNICEF’s Graphic’s section dealing with Animation for Children’s Rights and continued working on occasional assignments in East Africa. His research into Visual Literacy among rural populations in Nepal has been highlighted in the New Internationalist and was described in the book 'People Pictures and Power’, Bob Linney 1991 - Macmillan-Talc) as “the most important visual literacy study ever done”. He was key to forming one of UNICEF's most successful partnerships with more than 100 animation studios worldwide (Including Disney, Pixar, Warner Bros, Dreamworks, Hanna Barbera, Cartoon Network.
His designs and animated film productions have been distributed world-wide by the United Nations. He has given talks on his work at Stanford University, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and at the Animation Workshop in Viborg Denmark.
After a 36 year association with the organisation he returned to Edinburgh in 2012 and most recently he has continued to talk and to develop ideas on the theme of illustration and animation for development.
We are excited to announce as the centrepiece to the 13th festival a retrospective of George McBean's work. His exhibition will take place in the Glass Tank at Oxford Brookes University and will run throughout January and February 2015.
Oxford Human Rights Festival has become one of the most important events of the year at Oxford Brookes University. For the 13th year in a row OHRF will bring together people of different backgrounds to participate in a culture packed festival that engages with a constant issue from across the globe. Through our selection of movies, music, art pieces, poetry and talks, we aim to raise awareness of the delicate situation in which some of the people around the world live in and try, in this way, to make a change.
With this idea in mind, we are undertaking a selection process for the movies which will be screened this year and with the help of former UNICEF's Head of Graphics, George McBean, deliver a festival which will impact our guests on multiple levels.
Thank you very much and we will see everyone from the 18th to 21st February 2015 here at Oxford Brookes University.