How to organise your own recitation

The sixty Anniversary—an act of memory performances reached their conclusion as a series at the United Nations in Geneva on June 14 2013. It is a sincere hope that others may be encouraged and inspired to continue the endeavour to promote human rights throughout the world. If, by using Anniversary—an act of memory as a model or template, Monica Ross would be only too delighted.

A PDF of the gender neutral version of the Declaration as used in the Anniversary—an act of memory booklets can be downloaded here.

Below is a recommended approach towards embarking upon a recitation.

A suggested title for your future recitation could be Act of Memory—(Your Location/Organisation name).

The Monica Ross Action Group (MRAG) would be pleased if you could let us know of your recitations and how they go.

Please contact us at:


The above image is the logo for Anniversary—an act of memory. It shows the artist with her back to the viewer but facing the inverted text of the Declaration. The ‘anonymous’ head of the artist may suggest that everyone is capable of memorising and embodying the Declaration. The inverted text is a disruption—posing the question that, although you may know of the Declaration, do you actually know it?


How the performance works:

Someone begins by reciting the ‘Preamble’ and then announces Article 1 and hands over to whoever is reciting Article 1.

When an Article number is called out, whoever has learned that Article recites it from memory, in whatever way and language they prefer.

The performances take between 35-55 minutes depending on the workings of individual memory and how many people participate.

Sometimes the same article has been memorised by several people in one or more different languages—this produces a special kind of resonance which is specific to each context.

The matter of ‘no rehearsal’ is very important.

The recitors need not do any other preparation except for a quick get together 30 minutes beforehand so that, if there are say 6 people who have memorised Article 10, those recitors can decide on a sequence or mode of reciting of their choice.

You may want to document your recitation. If so, you must get release forms signed by the co-recitors if you wish to show the documentation in public or online. If co-rectors don’t want to be recorded you should respect their wishes.



How to videos:

Act of Memory: an introduction

How to realise your Act of Memory

YouTube addresses where you can see some previous collective recitations.


Useful downloadable documents:

Draft email 1: general invitation or call

Draft Email 2: reply to Participants/Co-recitors

Photo release form

The Article list is for you to keep a record of people’s Names, Article, Language and email addresses/mobile phone as you think necessary.

This becomes the scroll written by the recitors on the day i.e. immediately before the performance.


Good luck with your recitation we look forward to hearing how it went and what you and your co-recitors got out of it. We’d also appreciate any feedback or requests you have about the ‘How to…’ resources: