The Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities is proud to announce the opening of Artivism today at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR). The exhibition, which features the work of six artists and art collectives from around the world who use art as an instrument of activism in response to identity-based mass atrocities, will run through January 16, 2022. The CMHR edition of Artivism builds on the success of the exhibition’s 2019 debut, which was held in Venice, Italy.
More than seventy years after the Holocaust, genocide and mass atrocities remain a constant threat to global peace and security. The violence we see today in, for example, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and Burma serves as a daily reminder of the devastating consequences of the international community’s failure to act. Recognizing the warning signs of mass atrocities is an essential step in preventing them and the key to taking action. With this in mind, the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities presents Artivism. Co-curated by Luca Berta, Francesca Giubilei, and Kerry Whigham, Artivism is the first exhibition of its kind, located at the intersection of art, human rights, and the prevention of genocide.
Artivism is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that illustrates how the arts are used as a mechanism for preventing and responding to mass violence. The exhibition introduces visitors to the personal, emotional, and historical realities of mass atrocities, inviting attendees to learn about the essential role played by the arts as a grassroots tool for social transformation and a deterrent to systematic violence. It showcases the works of six artists and activist collectives from across the globe: Rebin Chalak from Iraqi Kurdistan, Canada’s National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Elisabeth Ida Mulyani from Indonesia, the South African Intuthuko Embroidery Project, the Argentinian Grupo de Arte Callejero (GAC), and Aida Šehović from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Beyond demonstrating the fundamental role that arts play in preventing large-scale violence, Artivism informs visitors about the power and the responsibility that individuals and their communities have to prevent mass atrocities and protect human rights. The exhibition educates, empowers, and transforms attendees into genuine agents for change by highlighting their capacity to contribute to the prevention of mass atrocities. In the exhibition’s final section, AIPG has collaborated with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia to present visitors with the 60/60/60 Challenge — a series of concrete steps that each individual can take at both the local and global levels to build a world that prevents genocide.