All Human Beings

What do all human beings, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Max Richter have in common?

Author: Sylvia Borissova

All Human Beings is the new track by contemporary classical composer Max Richter from his latest album Voices, which was released in late July 2020. The film, specially created for the music, is the work of Julia Mar.

However, the unique atmosphere of both the music and video of All Human Beings is due exclusively to the authentic voices of Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of the 32nd President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Kiki Layne and Hiba Selawi, reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

The introductory words of the Declaration read:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

All of Richter’s work is permeated by the thought of the individual, of the states, lights and shadows in his soul and emotions, of the relationships between individuals. Therefore, looking back to the time of writing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Richter addressed the following message to his listeners:

”These inspiring words are a guiding principle for the whole declaration but, looking around at the world we have made in the decades since they were written, it is clear that we have forgotten them. The recent brutal events in the US, leading to the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as countless other abuses around the world, are proof of that. At such times it is easy to feel hopeless but, just as the problems of our world are of our own making, so the solutions can be. While the past is fixed, the future is yet unwritten, and the declaration sets out an uplifting vision of a better and fairer world that is within our reach if we choose it.”

And let us return here again to the voice of Eleanor Roosevelt:

I will read to you the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


“Whereas, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world…”,

“Now, therefore, the General Assembly proclaims, this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance…”

Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…”

Eleanor Roosevelt (Library of Congress)

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” [Article 1]

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs…” [Article 2]


Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1948. URL: https://

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