Art and human rights?!
Half a year before festivities centering around the Treaty of Utrecht start, two exhibitions focusing on human rights are forcing us to think over our approach and opinion towards human rights and the right to protect.
One is taking place at the Hague’s Humanity House and shows work by the Norwegian photographer Espen Rasmussen. In his long term undertaking ‘The Transit Project’ Rasmussen focuses on “the more than 43 million people on the run” these days. See here for the great website of the project.
A ride of just a few hours more south, the city of Mechelen, Belgium, hosts a super interesting show on ‘the state of Human Rights’, called Newtopia.
In their introductory text they write: ”Be it the right to life, liberty, security and education; be it the right to free thought, conscience and opinion; be it it
the right not to be tortured, not to be treated inhumanely or in a degrading manner; be it in Syria, China or North Korea, hardly any other subject influences public discourse as firmly and as permanently as human rights. More than sixty years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the question of human rights is constantly gaining in importance.”
A whole list of engaged artists joins in the program curated by Katerina Gregos. She has been working in Belgium for some years, in diverse functions and explains a lot of her motifs for doing what she does in this bit older lecture. Gregos succeeded in including works as diverse of Ali Ferzat [mentioned before in this blog] and Thomas Killper amongst many others.
“Newtopia includes work in diverse media by more than 70 international artistsof different generations from all over the world. Many of these artists come from countries and regions where human rights have been – or still are – a particularly contested issue, such as the Arab world, China, Latin America, and the former Soviet republics; half of the artists come from non-Western countries.”
Arts in Conflict is definitely going to see both shows.