“Freedom Fighters: The Kennedys and the Battle for Civil Rights” is a show not to be missed on display at the MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome through November 24. Commemorating Martin Luther King Junior’s famous March on Washington in the United States where he spoke out for equality, the exhibition was organized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights Europe (RFK Europe)in collaboration with the American embassy in Italy. The photography exhibit displays photographs that relate the story of the struggle for civil rights in the US. President Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy’s contributions to the civil rights movement are highlighted in the exhibition.
The exhibition is the most recent effort by the Kennedy Center to shine international light on the issue of human rights around the world. Recently the RFK Europe’s center in Florence hosted an international human rights art exhibition with artists participating from around the globe. In both exhibitions, the goal is to spark conversation that will lead to meaningful action to bring human rights to people around the world who do not have the freedoms that most of Western Europe By Ellen Miller and the US takes for granted. The exhibition includes photographs from the entire US history of the struggle for civil rights, beginning at the very beginning with the signing of the Declaration of Independence and continuing up to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Martin Luther King, Jr. Robert Kennedy highly admired the Freedom Riders, who risked their lives to speak out on an issue they believed injust.
The RFK Center, named in his honor and established by Robert F. Kennedy’s friends and family, seeks to realize his dream of a more just world, and utilizes the arts to spread messages about justice in new ways.“This exhibit is not simply a reminder of distant history; rather it is an extraordinary story of the self and of the moral courage necessary for the realization of justice and democracy-values we need to embrace as we face the challenges of poverty, war, injustice, disease, and the other evils from which this generation must free the next,” said RFK Center president Kerry Kennedy in a press release from the organization. With 80 photographs documenting the civil rights movement in the US, “Freedom Fighters” reminds viewers that it is possible to fight for rights, and that others have done so and succeeded.
Student in Florence and writer