April 19, 2017

What is an Artistic Practice of Human Rights?

University of Chicago Arts

David Giordano, The color of a dove at night, 2016–17. Digital image. Courtesy of the artist.

What is an Artistic Practice of Human Rights? is a multi-day summit hosted by the University of Chicago and composed of a group of distinguished international artists who will propose, examine, and challenge the ways in which creative cultural resistance can broaden our collective understanding of human rights.

Through artist performances and presentations on April 29 and a public forum on May 1, the summit will delve into how artists are working to frame conversations and advance action around a range of human rights issues: from criminal justice to LGBTQ rights; youth violence to poverty; immigration rights to refugee crises; and other areas where the personal intersects the political.

Featuring: Lola Arias, Jelili Atiku, Tania Bruguera, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti of Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, Carlos Javier Ortiz, and Laurie Jo Reynolds.

Artists presentations: Saturday, April 29
The artists will give 45-minute presentations and performances about their work and how that it illuminates human rights issues and advocates for political activism and legislative reform.

Public forum: Monday, May 1
The public is invited to participate in an open forum with the summit artists, including a Q&A and the opportunity for attendees to engage in dialogue with one another.

What is an Artistic Practice of Human Rights? is curated by Mark Bradley, Zachary Cahill, Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, Leigh Fagin, Susan Gzesh, David Levin, Steven Rings, Jacqueline Stewart, Sonali Thakkar and Yesomi Umolu (University of Chicago) and Thomas Keenan (Bard College). Sponsored by the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry; Logan Center for the Arts; Pozen Family Center for Human Rights at the University of Chicago

For more information about What is an Artistic Practice of Human Rights? please contact: mikes1 [​at​]

Related exhibition and program

April 7–June 10
In Acts, an exhibition presented in conjunction with What is an Artistic Practice of Human Rights? at the Weinberg/Newton Gallery (300 W Superior Street, Suite 203, Chicago, IL),

featuring work by Lola Arias, Jelili Atiku, Tania Bruguera, Zanele Muholi, Carlos Javier Ortiz, and Laurie Jo Reynolds.

The exhibition runs April 7 through June 10. For more information about the exhibition please visit:

April 21, 4–6pm
Open Engagement 2017
We Shouldn’t Have Policies We Are Afraid to Talk About: a symposium on public crime registries

University of Chicago
Lobby, School of Social Service Administration
969 E. 60th St. Chicago, IL 60637

This symposium is a featured presentation for Open Engagement 2017 and the first of two presentations that considers state responses to sexual abuse and violence by examining unintended consequences of public registration and notification laws and related restrictions. Speakers will provide updates on current litigation and legislative efforts, and explore new next steps for achieving community safety and justice. Hear perspectives from state officials, victim advocates, justice advocates, and people directly affected by violence, incarceration, and these laws and policies. The second presentation of We Shouldn’t Have Policies We are Afraid to Talk About will take place April 29 as part of the summit What is the Artistic Practice of Human Rights?

This event is co-sponsored by: Open Engagement, University of Chicago’s What is An Artistic Practice of Human Rights? (Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, and the Logan Center for the Arts), Institute on Public Safety & Social Justice, Adler University, Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and John Howard Association of Illinois.

Organized by Laurie Jo Reynolds and Lynne Johnson.

For more about Open Engagement 2017 please visit:

These events are intended for mature audiences.

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