PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection (ARC), in partnership with the Mekong Cultural Hub (MCH) and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM ASIA) have released a publication, which captures growing anxiety among artists and creative practitioners across South, Southeast, East, and Central Asia.
Connecting the Dotsexplores questions that are critical to understanding the state of artistic freedom in Asia, through the lens of 25 artists, creative practitioners, human rights defenders, lawyers and other stakeholders coming from 19 countries in South, Southeast, East, and Central Asia. It presents key discussions, findings, and recommendations from a closed virtual workshop convened in November 2021 and shares powerful anecdotal references from the participants, including a Uyghur musician and activist, a Vietnamese filmmaker, and a Myanmar artist – whose identities are kept confidential for security reasons.
A report, edited by Pelin Çakır and introduced September 2021 by Martin Roth-Initiative (MRI) and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa), Germany, explores risks and restrictions for artistic freedom and mobility beyond the Covid-19 Crisis. By learning from the recent experiences, and particularly from restrictive contexts such as Turkey, Learning from the Pandemic explores how to support artists and maintain spaces of artistic freedom despite these circumstances. The full report is now available in English.
With new expectations for media, culture, and presence in a hyperconnected world, the civic stakes of the performing arts are shifting. In a series of convenings, futureStage, an international, interdisciplinary team of scholars and experts at MetaLab (Harvard University) have compared and analyzed best practices and key ideas across a variety of areas. Published October 2021, MetaLab’s futureStage Manifesto offers a condensed vision of performance as a human right, intimately entangled with all the stages on which contemporary life is performed, and offering global society new skills, sensibilities, and points of view.
Since 2012, the United Nations has taken an interdisciplinary approach to reflection and action on the profound links between religions and human rights through the Faith for Rights Network. 18 commitments were articulated in the 2017 Beirut Declaration to strengthen the universal right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief under international law. The most recent publication is the #Faith4Rights toolkit, which builds on a wealth of similar tools from several UN agencies. It also describes artistic expressions as learning tools for democracy and human rights and provides links to relevant resources.