ARTE Presents in Canada and Ireland
Any reference to human rights is, by engagement, a reference to arts and culture.
-Bob Collins, Chairman of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland
ARTE has had the honor of participating and presenting in two international convenings focusing on the intersection of the arts and human rights.
The first was in June, sponsored by the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa, as a Launch Symposium on the Arts and Human Rights. The weekend symposium brought together several dozen practitioners – lawyers, artists, and human rights experts – interested in discussing questions that more deeply explore the intersection between the arts and human rights.
In July, ARTE participated in the inaugural Galway International Summer School on the Arts and Human Rights at the University in Galway, Republic of Ireland. The School was sponsored by The Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Hunt Museum and hosted over 118 participants, representing nearly 37 countries, all interested in exploring the intersection between the arts and human rights. The gathering’s opening ceremonies were convened by the United Nations’ leading expert on human rights and culture, Farida Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Cultural Rights.
ARTE presented “Public Art, Immigrant Youth, and Human Rights,” during the Summer School’s “Human Rights and Visual Arts” workshop track, which was coordinated by Bernadette Kenny (CEO, The Bluebox, Limerick, Ireland) and facilitated by Professor Sarah Joseph (Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia) and Professor Paul Seawright (Professor of Photography and Head of Belfast School of Art at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland). The workshop provided an excellent opportunity for other artists, practitioners, lawyers, and academics to learn about ARTE’s youth development work, but also gave the organization a chance to learn about other dynamic human rights and arts organizing happening and its impact.
ARTE was incredibly grateful for these experiences. Being at a nascent point in our organization’s existence and given the innovative nature of the field, it often feels that our work is operating in a silo. However from these international experiences, we are reminded of the network of those working together to create human rights change in the world. It is this work that continues to inspires us to mobilize our own community.