Human rights exhibit uses play to teach respect, equality

Colourful walls, bins of sparkly beads and construction paper are integral parts of XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness. The new “play-based” children’s exhibit opens at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in October.
A family takes part in XOXO: An Exhibit about Love and Forgiveness at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. The exhibit is coming the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg on Oct. 4. (Children's Museum of Pittsburgh)

A new exhibit under construction at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights will look strikingly different from the norm.

Colourful walls, bins of sparkly beads and construction paper are integral parts of XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness. The new "play-based" children's exhibit opens next month at the museum's level one gallery. 
Children prepare negative messages to shred as part of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh's XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness. The play-based exhibit comes to Winnipeg in October. (Children's Museum of Pittsburgh)

"We began in the past and now move to the future, with a wonderful exhibition aimed at the next generation of human rights defenders," CMHR president and CEO John Young said in a news release Thursday.

XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness uses play and creativity to explore ideas around human dignity, respect and equity, said the CMHR.

The exhibit was created by the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and offers a range of different interactive experiences, including a sound recorder that analyzes tone of voice, a video station that interprets facial expressions and a soft sculpture that responds to hugs with a comforting sound. Children of all ages are also invited to write down sad or angry thoughts and crank them through a paper shredder.

The new exhibit will be fun, silly and encourage children to think about both love and forgiveness, the news release said. 

"We hope it will prompt family conversations about how we treat and interact with each other," Young said.

XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness opens Oct. 4 and runs until Jan. 3.

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