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Photos and story by: Andy Mele/Clearwater
Ellary Eddy at 914-659-0713
Andy Mele at 914-204-0030
On a crisp and beautiful fall day, an extraordinary document boarded
great Hudson River sloop Clearwater, for a symbolic journey downriver
under full sail.
The wind was blowing 30 mph as the Charter, handprinted on a scroll of
papyrus and housed within a striking handcrafted and handpainted chest
known as the Ark of Hope, was carried aboard the Clearwater. Having
walked by various teams of supporters from Burlington, Vermont to
Garrison, the Ark is now secured atop the main cabin, as the Clearwater
(itself an Ark of Hope) wends its way through the Hudson Highlands to
Manhattan with Ark walkers and Clearwater crew aboard.
Destined to become known as a remarkable work of vision, The Charter
initiated at the Earth Summit of Rio in 1992. Since then it has been
further crafted and refined (by countless groups from the grass roots
level on up to world leaders) into a "Peoples Treaty", a document
comprising 16 basic principles, from social and economic justice to
environmental sustainability to world peace. The Charter aspires to be
a "Declaration of Interdependence" a mandate for a higher level of
global responsibility and cooperation on the part of all signatories.
This initiative, which has been spearheaded in the U.S. by Steven C.
Rockefeller (Professor Emeritus of Religion at Middlebury College, Vt.)
is rapidly becoming actualized as countless associations (both
non-governmental and governmental) and individuals across the planet
adding their signatures.
There is a surprisingly diverse and distinguished group of supporters,
including Mikhail Gorbachev, Princess Talal of Jordan, Prime Minister
Ruud Lubbers of Holland and Jane Goodall. The ultimate mission is to
gain acceptance from all nations, all institutions, and all peoples of
Inspired by the Earth Charter, artist Sally Linder decided to transform
what to her was a disembodied, intellectual concept into a palpable and
resonant work of art as well, hence - the Ark Of Hope: a large box
of sycamore (sustainably harvested in Germany) and painted with scenes
presenting the themes of biodiversity, global harmony and
multiculturalism. Also included within the Ark are over 300 small but
stunning handmade books created by dozens of students of all ages, each
inspired by the Charter and its universal themes.
The Ark, the Charter, and the 300 artist books are headed for an
exhibition at the United Nations, where it is hoped the Charter will be
signed by the General Assembly in 2002.
The Clearwater will be arriving at the 79th street boat basin on
Thursday at 11am. Media representatives are welcome.
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