ARTHRIC 2021 : Art and Human Rights International Conference

Event Date: May 20, 2021 - May 21, 2021
Submission Deadline: Dec 18, 2020
Notification of Acceptance: Jan 31, 2021


Within the scope of the current human rights challenges our world is facing, arts have been striving to be recognized as a fundamental place for debate and critical thinking, as well as a catalyst for collective awareness and empathy. Exploring topics that range from climate change to the refugee crisis, from discrimination to authoritarian regimes affirmation, several events are prompting artists, both individually and collectively, to rethink the role of art as an agent for social change. In the last decade, several projects were created in countries that continually suffered human rights violations, such as Syria, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, and others, which enrich our current knowledge and challenge our perspectives on artistic practices and ways of working around freedom of expression. In the face of current circumstances and having in mind the increase of information shared globally, the relevance of artistic productions as a tool for debate and political intervention becomes more evident. Indeed, we can currently find numerous civic movements, collectives, activists and organizations collaborating with artists to enrich their projects and amplify their values and messages. Succeeding some influential manuals created by different collectives at the end of the 1980’s and during the 1990’s in the USA, new reflections have been emerging to systemize operating modes within the designated “guerrilla art” such as, per example, Beautiful Trouble – Toolbox for Revolution (2012) or Truth is Concrete – A Handbook for Artistic Strategies in Realpolitics (2014). These artistic practices became known through different terms, such as “socially engaged art”, “participatory art”, “community art”, “relational art”, “political art”, “artistic activism” or “artivism”. While we can identify the singularities of each of these designations, they share and converge within a common space  focusing on the call for human rights and, more widely, on human dignity. From a theoretical and academic perspective, these practices have been object of study by different authors – such as Nina Felshin (1995), Nicholas Bourriaud (1998), Miwon Kwon (2002), Grant Kester (2004, 2011), Claire Bishop (2006, 2012), Jacques Rancière (2009), Gregory Shoelette (2011), Shannon Jackson (2011) or Tom Finkelpearl (2013) – who have contributed to their study and discussion through different approaches. With the drive to contribute and advance on the reflection of theories and practices on the field, this conference opens up as a meeting for researchers, artists, activists and other agents that are working on the intersections of art and human rights around the globe.

Call For Paper

Proposed topics for submissions:
-       art and social change;
-    socially engaged art, participatory art and community art for human rights;
-       art and censorship;
-       art and freedom of expression;
-       art projects about human rights;
-       art and activism strategies;
-       artistic freedom in challenging contexts;
-       art and conflict resolution;
-       arts and culture as a human right.

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