directory - Human Rights

Yevgeniy Fiks – Postcards from the Revolutionary Pleshka

Postcards from the Revolutionary Pleshka is a collaboration between Yevgeniy Fiks and Moscow’s contemporary lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) activists of Rainbow Association. In April 2013, Fiks invited contemporary LGBT activists from Moscow to write “messages into the past” on the back of old postcards and to tell a real or imaginary Soviet-era gay person about the conditions and activism of present-day Moscow’s LGBT community.

volXtheaterkarawane [publiXtheatre caravan]

In 2001, the volXtheaterkarawane was founded as a travelling project by members of the volXtheater XX Favoriten theater troupe and activists of the Platform for a World Without Racism; it existed as a project critiquing globalization until 2011. The goal was to raise awareness of the problematic immigration laws in Europe, the subliminal racism and sexism in the democratic countries, and the increasing state-run surveillance and control of citizens. With the support of different helpers and cooperation partners, from 2001 to 2006 the volXtheaterkarawane organized three large campaigns – NOBorder, NONation (2001), noborderZONE (2003), and noborderLAB (2004) – in the form of trips lasting several days to central locations of political events.

Visible Collective – Disappeared in America

Disappeared in America was a project of the Visible Collective, a group of thirteen members founded by Naeem Mohaiemen. It investigated the countless people, who – mostly migrants living in precarious circumstances – were arrested after September 11, 2001, and as they often were not registered anywhere, simply disappeared from view. The group built a database where the names and data of missing persons could be registered, and created an interactive map charting all the cases. Publications, videos, as well as many artworks, citing names, biographies, and displaying photographs sought to draw attention to this problem, and in galleries and in public spaces the texts of laws and documentations were exhibited to raise public awareness.

Ursula Biemann

There is probably no other artist who has delved so deeply into the subject of the borders between the rich countries of the North and the poorer ones of the South as Ursula Biemann. Her special interest is gender relations. The video essay Performing the Border from 1999, which is about the Mexico–USA border between Ciudad Juárez and El Paso in Texas, was the starting point for further research on global sex trafficking. For an exhibition at the Generali Foundation in Vienna 2003, Biemann and the anthropologist Angela Sanders contributed the video essay Europlex, which is about women who cross over the border into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in Morocco.


Activist art has come to signify a particular emphasis on appropriated aesthetic forms whose political content does the work of both cultural analysis and cultural action. The art collaboration Ultra-red proposes a political-aesthetic project that reverses this model. If we understand organizing as the formal practices that build relationships out of which people compose an analysis and strategic actions, how might art contribute to and challenge those very processes? How might those processes already constitute aesthetic forms? In the worlds of sound art and modern electronic music, Ultra-red pursues a fragile but dynamic exchange between art and political organizing.

The Yes Men

We are the internationally known mischief-making collective whose unique brand of activism, which we call “identity correction,” is documented in two award-winning films, THE YES MEN and THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD. Armed with nothing but thrift store suits, we impersonate big-time corporate criminals (targets have included such heavyweights as the World Trade Organization, Dow Chemical, Exxon Mobil, and Halliburton) in order to draw attention to their crimes against humanity and the environment. We’ve discovered that delivering hard-boiled issues with huge dollops of laughter is a powerful way to reach mainstream audiences. Our low-budget actions have drawn regular coverage from all the major news outlets (the New York Times, CNN, Reuters, AP, AFP, BBC, NPR, and more).

The Influencers

The Influencers is an atypical festival devoted to non-conventional art and communication guerrilla. Since 2004 The Influencers has been an opportunity for extra-disciplinary research, discovery, and debate about inventions and adventures in the troubled waters where information society, everyday technology, and fragments of collective imagination mix and clash with each other. The purpose of the project is to show examples of practical intervention at the intersection of media and collective imagination, such as myth-making, contemporary grassroots adventures, new forms of political activism, digitally networked subcultures.

Taller Popular de Serigrafía

In March 2002, the artists group Taller Popular de Serigrafía (The People’s Screen‐Printing Workshop) was founded by Diego Posadas, Mariela Scafati, and Magdalena Jitrik in Buenos Aires. Starting point of the collective’s activities, which continued until 2007, was a workshop on silkscreen printing, or serigraphy, during the cultural program of the public assembly of San Telmo on the official day commemorating the coup d’état of 1976. Following the national unrest in December 2001, the artists wanted to contribute to the struggle for social justice. The technique of screen printing was suitable because it allowed a quick response to events by creating materials for demonstrations cheaply and fast.

Surveillance Camera Players

The Surveillance Camera Players are not a professional theater troupe, nor are they producers of or actors in television shows; they are just a bunch of average Joes and Josephines who appreciate how boring it must be for law enforcement officers to watch the video images constantly being displayed on the closed-circuit television surveillance systems that perpetually monitor our behavior and appearances all over the city. The only time the officers have any fun watching these monitors is when something illegal is going on. But the crime rate is down and the subways – the metro transportation systems – (which are filled with surveillance cameras) are the safest they have been in thirty years.

Lily Yeh – The Rwanda Healing Project

Lily Yeh, who was born in China 1941 and has lived in the USA since 1960, started The Village of Arts and Humanities in Philadelphia in 1986, a not-for-profit initiative to revitalize neighbourhoods through art, and since then she has worked as an artist. In 2004, she founded the Barefoot Artists and also the two-part Rwanda Healing Project: of the transformation of the Rigerero Survivors Village, erected 1997/1998 for survivors of the genocide and combining three neighbouring villages, and the construction of a memorial. 100 families with 190 children lived in the village. Six teachers were trained to paint houses with the kids.