Written by Carina D'Urso, ARTE Intern
On May 16th, 2019, ARTE participated in Teen Arts Week, contributing to the 92nd Street Y’s wider celebration of art creation and youth leadership. At the WIlliamsburgh Public Library, teens gathered to create insightful presentations of advocacy through art. Simultaneously, they celebrated the release of ARTE’s 70th Anniversary Zine alongside the ARTE team. The zine showcases the work of a variety of young artists who participated in ARTE’s four-part zine creation series. Through its creation, these artists explored what the different articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) mean to them. The pages are filled with the artist’s collages and words. The zine was designed by Kristina Filler, who graphically designed eye-catching instructions on zine creation, inspiring others to use this accessible medium in order to express voice. This zine serves as an inspiration for others to create zines while conveying messages of personal and social significance.
The teens echoed this calling, fuelling their passions for human rights into their own zines. The group reflected upon the articles of the UDHR while utilizing the activist purpose of zines. The group engaged in discussions of human rights, striving for social change through words and understanding. Their resulting zines served as expressions of creativity and calls for justice. When presenting her zine, one young artist, Gabrielle, keenly noted, “Experience is how we learn. Never be afraid to show yourself new concepts and ideas because that’s what makes us human. We are all humans at the end of the day.” It is through zine making and art creation that we can engage with one another empathetically. This sentiment embraces the principles of the UDHR, leading us into a kinder world.
The ARTE team is humbled by the voices of the young people that we work with, as they are actively working to create growth through resistance and resilience. We are grateful to the 92Y and the Catherine Hannah Behrend Fellowship Women in Power Fellowship for their support regarding this project. We look forward to eventually reaching hundreds of young people and their community members through the dissemination of the zine and the redesigned UDHR booklet.