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Human Rights

The inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Preamble, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.

Art as Storytelling and Resistance: “I love cats”

By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights

“Seeking Protection is Not a Crime” is a 5.5’ X 12’ foot mural commissioned by the Queer Arts Festival, a three-week multi media art festival that began in 2010. Festival coordinators reached out to Rainbow Refugee – a grassroots organization that works to support people with refugee claims in Canada on the basis of gender and sexual orientation. The piece made its debut in July 2014 at The Roundhouse, a community space in one of the more affluent areas of Vancouver. In one of the few sunny days in January, I sat down with Melanie Schambach, a social artist who served as the artistic coordinator, and Katherine Fobear, a community activist scholar who served as one of the project coordinators, to reflect on the process and ethics of bringing together art, scholarship, activism, and community to a public that is largely unaware of the realities facing queer refugees and even more unaware of the power and process of making social art.

Note: Mira Ghattas who was the other coordinator and helped envision and spearhead the community portion of the project – bringing together the refugees with the Queer Arts Festival – was unable to join us. (more…)

Lampedusa boat tragedy: a survivor’s story

Repost from the Guardian. Last October a boat went down off the Italian island of Lampedusa, killing 366 migrants on board. What happened next? This is the story of Fanus, a survivor and one of thousands of people who flee Eritrea every year … Continue reading

The Evolution of American Revolutionary

By Grace Lee I first met Grace Lee Boggs in 2000 while filming The Grace Lee Project, a personal documentary that took me on a journey to unpack the model minority stereotype of Asian Americans. I interviewed dozens of women … Continue reading