Building peace in the minds of men and women

International Day of Light

Inauguration ceremony

UNESCO will welcome leading scientists on 16 May 2018 for the 1st edition of the International Day of Light to celebrate the role light plays in our daily lives. Researchers and intellectuals will examine how light-based technologies can contribute to meet pressing challenges in diverse areas, such as medicine, education, agriculture and energy. The programme also includes cultural events, and illumination of UNESCO Headquarters.
The 1st International Day of Light will also be celebrated around the world with over 500 events in more than 80 countries.


Innauguration ceremony

16 May 2018, 14:30-20:00, UNESCO Headquarters.

All participants must be registered, and present a photo ID to access the building.
Venue: 125 avenue de Suffren, 75007, Paris, France
By Metro: Ségur-UNESCO, Cambronne, Ecole militaire
By Bus: 28, 80
Velib'Sation: n° 15009 Suffren, 140 avenue de Suffren


Exhibits and installations

Museum of Light Exhibition
The Museum of Light (Spanish Museo de la Luz) is a science museum dedicated to the phenomena of light, located in the Historical Center of Mexico City and administered by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
In celebration of the International Day of Light, the Museum of Light has generously furnished a selection of their holdings for exhibition in the Salle Miro of UNESCO, to illustrate the beauty of light and the many ways that it impacts on humanity.

Day and Night in Paris - Kari Kola
Light Artist Kari Kola has created a work of light art called Day and Night in Paris in honor of the first International Day of Light. The themes of the artwork are light and darkness, day and night, the sun and the moon. The artwork will cover the Fontenoy building of UNESCO headquarters and the Symbolic Globe in front of it.

Light painting exhibition - Light Painting World Alliance and Ligue Francophone de Light Painting
In this exhibition, you are invited to witness the manifestation of light through the science, technologies and art of our time. Artists from all over the globe are showing their creations on digital displays. Their creative minds are showing that light can be sculpted, bent, used like paint, giving us a peek into the imagination and its stunning possibilities. Imagination is the beginning of everything.

Laser marking by TRUMPF
The invention of the laser was one of the most momentous scientific discoveries of the 20th century. Although the laser was initially conceived as a tool for fundamental science, it immediately found important applications, and has since revolutionized society in areas of telecommunications, healthcare, sensing, and industrial manufacturing. One very widespread use of lasers is in marking and engraving, and results are to be found in many areas of life from industrial design to artworks and even reproduction of cultural heritage. In this display, an operating laser marking workstation will be used to showcase this technology by marking the UNESCO-International Day of Light logo.

Virtual Reality - Bernard Kress, Principal Optical Architect, Microsoft Corp and SPIE Fellow
Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality (VR, AR and MR) are technologies that are revolutionizing the way we interact, socialize, communicate, learn, teach, get entertained, and become more productive in our professional and private lives. They offer new opportunities for education, innovation and appreciation of art and culture. SPIE will offer to all International Day of Light attendees the chance to try out state of the art VR and AR headsets and to personally experience the potential of this revolutionary light-based technology.



Music: Look to the Universe - Linda Lamon, Katerina Mina
Cypriot born British soprano Katerina Mina will be performing two pieces by Manchester UK songwriter Linda Lamon. Look to the universe is a melody based on the classical guitar piece Romance with added lyrics that were inspired by the late Professor Stephen Hawking's 'Look To The Stars' quote.
It encourages humanity to look to the cosmos for a sustainable future, with hope being the catalyst. The Rainbow of Light Anthem asks whether the answer to the mysteries of the universe could be in the spectrum of the rainbow. It was an official song during the International Year of Light 2015.

Immersive Light Show: A Brief History of Light Nuno Maya - OCUBO
For this immersive light art installation, OCUBO will install state of the art technology to project the artistic content of Maya - an engaging and visually rich narrative. The artistic concept emerges from the idea to explore the interior of UNESCO’s Room I auditorium, and to redesign its architecture using light in order to illustrate the richness of the ideas that pass through there every day. The installation will create a contemplative moment where, surrounded by light,forms and colours, the audience will be immersed in a spectacular audio-visual experience.

Photonics Science Show - Brussels Photonics Team (B-PHOT) of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Light-based (or photonic) technologies have underpinned remarkable societal progress in areas such as healthcare, education, energy and sustainable development. One of the most revolutionary photonic technologies is the optical fibre, a near-invisible strand of glass that is the backbone of the world’s communication networks. However, although most people have heard of optical fibres, very few actually know how they work and what they can be used for. In this 30 minute Photonics Science Show, young researchers and students from Vrije Universiteit Brussels B-PHOT will unravel and explain the magic of optical fibres and their many uses and applications. Vibrant and entertaining on-stage presentations will be accompanied by an accessible and educational narrative that will explain both the history of this exciting and fascinating field and its importance for the future.