Thursday, February 18, 2010

Human Rights: Freedom to create

This is not the sort of article I would normally publish, but when one considers the increase in attacks on freedom of speech and freedom to express an opinion, I felt it is quite apt.

The Ana Tzarev Gallery is hosting a groundbreaking exhibition of works from the 2009 Freedom to Create Prize, an international award celebrating the courage of artists who use their talents to promote social justice, build the foundations for open societies and inspire the human spirit. The artist Ana Tzarev is a member of the Freedom to Create Prize judging panel which consisted of internationally acclaimed artists, social consciousness awareness makers and human rights leaders. The exhibition features a powerful range of works selected from over 1000 entries from more than 100 countries. The Main Prize winner was Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf for a body of work that promotes social justice and human rights.

Works on display include an installation of giant paper mache dolls, The Kumjing Storytellers, created by women trapped in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border after being forced to flee from Shan State in Burma. The women cannot travel but they find help to transport the dolls around the world to raise awareness of the plight of migrants and refugees.

In Chel Dokhtaraan (40 Girls) Afghan artist Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai explores persecution of women through a contemporary interpretation of the ancient Afghan legend in which 40 women threw themselves in a well rather than submit to capture.

Jonathan Torgovnik's Intended Consequences includes chilling testimonials of women raped during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda with portraits of the women and their children born of the attack.

Additional works include paintings by Patrick Kabanga symbolizing the tragic loss of life from the Second Congo War, the world's deadliest conflict since World War II and Morten Traavik's exquisite photographs challenging entrenched concepts of beauty in Miss Landmine Cambodia, 2009.

Source: The Ana Tzarev Gallery

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