I love art. Art has a way of telling stories, whether through lyrics, paintings, dance or photographs. Art is born out of an idea, created by humble minds and beautiful souls. Art can also be an expression to bring awareness to injustices. When I received the email to RSVP to the Arts 4 Rights, I knew it was something I had to witness. #Art4Rights is an exhibit in the Bywater area of New Orleans that sheds light on the people around the world who face inprisonment for fighting for equal rights, self expression, and speaking out against injustice.
"Through the Write for Rights campaign, organized every year in acknowledgement of Human Rights Day on December 10, hundreds of thousands of people around the world send a message to someone they've never met. Letter writing has always been at the heart of Amnesty International's human rights campaigning. With 54 years of human rights activism on our side, we see that the collective actions of our members really have the power to change lives.
SPECIAL GUEST: Usher Raymond IV, in partnership with Sankofa.org, will join Amnesty International USA’s Art for Amnesty for Art for Rights.
This year, Art For Amnesty is doing something different. We are amplifying Write for Rights with art. On December 12, a historic event will take place: ART FOR RIGHTS. Through a partnership with New Orleans artist, Brandan “BMike” Odums, we are collaborating with 12 artists to highlight the stories of 12 international cases through art and creative installations. The murals created by these 12 artists will call attention to cases of solitary confinement, torture, forced marriage, forced eviction, imprisonment for a miscarriage, LGBTI rights, death penalty, enforced disappearance and prisoners of conscience. The goals remain the same: to inspire participants to write letters and to take action.
Art can be a cultural tool during times of unrest to expose truths, helping to humanize social struggle and actualize grievances and fears. Often, art inspires us to take action. We've chosen to hold the inaugural event in New Orleans, the prison capital of the world. In New Orleans, Albert Woodfox, one of the 12 cases, has been held in solitary confinement for over 40 years. Art for Rights will be located in StudioBe, 30,000 square foot art studio, where we hope over 5,000 people will join Art For Amnesty for a one-day, free, pop-up art event, with the unveiling of the work by these amazing artists. Art for Rights will also feature local Cajun food and big brass band music for that New Orleans flair."