Local Rites for Universal Rights

Miya Masaoka's performance piece Dark Passages should serve as a kind of prelude to the local celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The historic United Nations document, promoted by Eleanor Roosevelt and officially adopted by the U.N. in the wee hours of Dec. 10, 1948, guarantees a range of civil, social, economic, cultural, and political rights to all people, including exemption from torture (Article 5) and arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile (Article 9). That's where Passages, a multimedia rumination on Japanese-American concentration camps and World War II, comes in. Using Buddhist chanters, a live string quartet and koto music, archival footage, and text from congressional hearings on redress, Masaoka tells the story of the Crystal City Camp through the words of camp survivors. It plays at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Asian Art Museum, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $10; call 379-8879. Thursday events are highlighted by "A Concert Tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt," featuring the Women's Philharmonic playing composer Chen-Yi's piece Eleanor's Gift for cello and orchestra and Aaron Copland's Preamble for a Solemn Occasion, with narration by actress Jean Stapleton. The show begins at 8 p.m. at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is $20-50; call 392-4400. Additional events include the panel presentation "The Forgotten Holocausts of the People of China in World War II" (8 p.m. Wednesday at the Masonic Auditorium, 1111 California, S.F., 398-7758), and the premiere screening of Fighting for Our Rights: A Tribute to San Francisco's Human Rights Heroes and a performance of the dance piece Women in Black (6 p.m. Thursday at the Main Library's Koret Auditorium, Larkin & Market, S.F., 561-6810). For information on additional events, call 643-0270.

--Heather Wisner

 
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