In recognition of the Arts as an integral medium of learning and expression, the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) has launched The Arts and Human Rights Program (A+HR Programme). The objective of this powerful new initiative is to raise awareness and engage individuals in a multidisciplinary interrogation of human rights issues that is framed through various forms of creative artistic expression such as visual, performance, media, cinematographic, musical and literary arts.
“My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.”
— Louis Riel
Building Positive Relations: A Manifesto for the Arts, New Materialism, Posthumanism & Human Rights
This arts and human rights project led by HRREC Senior Fellow Oonagh E. Fitzgerald as principal investigator and co-chaired by HRREC Community Member, was developed as the 2nd Arts + Human Rights Symposium of the University of Ottawa Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC).
In January 2022 there were two preparatory workshops:
- What are Human Rights in the Posthuman Age of the Anthropocene?
- The Arts and Human Rights in the Context of Being Cyborgs, Living Speculative Futures
These led to a two-day Symposium in April 2022 on the theme of Building Positive Relations: The Arts, New Materialism, Posthumanism and Human Rights.
Artistic works, experiences and ideas shared among participants enriched our understanding of how to build positive relations between the arts, new materialism, posthumanism, and human rights. Over the summer participants provided feedback on an initial draft of ideas for a manifesto, which were incorporated in a finalized version, provided in English, French and Spanish.
Participants included human rights, philosophy and arts teachers and advocates and artists, story tellers, dancers, and musicians from around the world, generously sharing their insights, understanding and vision.
In partnership between HRREC, Concordia University’s and , , and (EAS), a multimedia exposition will be held from May 29 to June 10. 2023 at Video Performance Studio (EV-10-760) Concordia Engineering And Visual Arts (EV) — Building 1515 | Saint-Catherine St West | Montreal. This will allow a further exploration of the linkages between the arts and human rights and the ideas in the Manifesto. In addition, young artists are invited to submit visual art works to the . EAS will present up to 30 artists’ works in both a virtual exhibition on their website and in the live exhibition in Montreal.
Images of Justice 2021: The Right to Housing
Images of Justice 2020: Children & Human Rights
An Image of Justice 2019: Genocide, Truth & Reconciliation
Summer School on the Arts + Human Rights
Please note that the Summer School on The Arts and Human Rights will not be offered in 2020.
The goal of this course was to explore issues around the Art as a manifestation of human rights and as an instrument for the promotion of human rights. The course was open to students (for credit or not) as well as academics, government employees, NGO and IO staff, indigenous and community representatives, artists, activists and cultural workers. The course featured leading scholars, practitioners and artists and the curriculum blended traditional and artistic pedagogical methods.
THE UNIVERSAL GAME - One Flag to Connect Us All
The Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) is delighted to present THE UNIVERSAL GAME. One flag to connect us all, an outreach art project from the Centre conceived and produced in 2015 by .
The motivation for this project came from a desire to mark International Human Rights Day (December 10) through art. The concept entailed putting together pieces of flags reflecting the nationalities of uOttawa students in a large banner (canvas) displayed in a central location within campus. Elements of this jigsaw will included parts of flags and universal symbols such as the dove, the flame, the balance, etc.
In order to create the canvas, HRREC invited the uOttawa community to participate in a Jigsaw Day, Let’s Play!, a collective art performance. Once the game was finished, the resulting design was photographed and printed onto a vinyl banner. Pieces of the jigsaw were previously created in an art workshop also open to the public. The banner was unveiled to the uOttawa community on December 10, 2015.
The message is one of union, diversity and rich global exchange and inclusivity.