Arts & Human Rights: Conversing Multiplicities

Human rights

By University of Ottawa

Human Rights Research and Education Centre, HRREC

Arts & Human Rights: Conversing Multiplicities
From May 30 to June 8, 2023, HRREC members Oonagh Fitzgerald and Ramon Blanco-Barrera were the curators of the exhibition on Arts & Human Rights: Conversing Multiplicities, as a result of the excellent work they did in organizing the 2nd HRREC Arts and Human Rights Symposium in 2022, a long-time program of the Centre.

Over the course of virtual workshops, a symposium, zoom calls and emails, arts and human rights practitioners and advocates from around the world shared works, experiences, and ideas about what it means to be human in the posthuman cyborg Anthropocene. They developed a manifesto on building positive relations between the arts and human rights which artists, dancers, academics, and musicians then animated through this multi-media exposition, which was hosted at Milieux Institute, Concordia University.

With visual artworks, dance and art videos, and soundscapes contributed from around the world, co-curators Oonagh Fitzgerald, Ann Wettrich and Ramon Blanco-Barrera\233 prepared a congenial space to contemplate and explore human rights from a multiplicity of perspectives. There were discussions on relations between the arts and human rights with HRREC Interim Director Jabeur Fathally, Omid Milani and Andrea Fitzpatrick, and on reclaiming opera despite human rights issues in the canon with Kristin Franseen, Juanita\Jay Marchand, Philon Nguyen and Eldad Tsabary.

In addition, a workshop on embroidering about human rights violations with Sophia Boyadjian and Catherine Heard; music compositions and dance performances; noon hour video screenings; a sound installation made of discarded and recycled sound equipment; and a laser, video and sound dance party all contributed to ongoing lively engagement and conversation about relations between arts and human rights.