Understanding, protecting and defending freedom of artistic expression and artists at risk
Hildesheim UNESCO Chair announces the launch of the ARTS RIGHTS JUSTICE PROGRAM
It is important that artistic creation and the role of artists are considered in relation to human rights and freedom in society. To this end, the ARTS RIGHTS JUSTICE PROGRAM seeks to convey and professionalize skills, ensure the exchange of knowledge, make the most of multiplier effects and build expertise on the subject. Therefore, the aim is to strengthen and expand structures for the promotion and protection of artistic freedom.
The program was developed in cooperation with 30 international expert institutions and is initially intended to run from 2017 until 2019 with the support of the German Foreign Office and the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN). It will encompass an annual ACADEMY accompanied by an international CONFERENCE at the University of Hildesheim, Germany; a series of ARJ LABORATORIES with partners in different world regions; and an open access online library.
There have been an increasing number of cases where restrictions have been placed on the freedom of artistic creation and specific threats made towards artists and defenders of human rights who are engaged in social transformation processes. This highlights the importance of considering artistic creativity and the role of artists in societies where human rights and freedoms are at risk.
The aim of the Arts Rights Justice Pilot Program (ARJ Program) is to expand spaces for the freedom of artistic expression, strengthen civil society voices and help protect human rights and freedoms. The key to this is to mediate and professionalize skills, facilitate the exchange of knowledge, use multiplier effects and build expertise on the subject, thus striving to deepen and expand structures for the promotion and protection of artistic freedom. Participants in the program will be trained to deal with censorship and threats, use international protection and promotion mechanisms, and organize advocacy groups in order to stimulate and deepen change processes.
The three main parts of the ARJ Pilot Program are: