On the island of Lesvos, a Fab Lab has been established, where groups of refugees and designers from all over the world, co-develop solutions and co-create products, through which the waste produced from the refugee camps, are transformed into innovative and creative products that focus on improving the living conditions of the local community.

In the Central African Republic, sexual and gender-based violence was reduced from 76% to 16% at the Mole Refugee Centre, after four months of dance workshops, with the 2016 Refugees on the Move (African Artists for Development) programme.

At the same time, on the other side of the hemisphere, female photojournalists from 11 Latin American countries (Ruda Collective), through their photographs, record and visualize phenomena of women’s human rights violations, with the aim of raising awareness and showcasing the current situations.

Without a doubt, Art has become a strong means of communicating human rights abuses, as well as a way to co-create and find sustainable solutions. With the notion “Nothing About Us, Without Us, is for Us” in mind, how could Art be used for rehabilitation and healing purposes as well as social inclusion for vulnerable populations? How could Art be used by vulnerable populations, for vulnerable populations?

About Art Lab

The Art Lab for Human Rights and Dialogue is a newly established UNESCO platform, that aims to focus on the social role of the Arts, and the artists themselves, in reconciliation processes, and in the advocacy for human rights, dignity and artistic freedom.

The platform serves the goal of:

  • Carrying out pilot activities
  • Spreading awareness and providing education
  • Identifying and recording examples of ethical practices and artistic interventions in post-conflict environments, refugee camps or urban environments among vulnerable populations
  • Creating tools related to the implementation of targeted artistic activities

The team consists of academics, humanities scientists, social scientists, UN members, cultural professionals, artists, and NGO members.

The Art Lab Platform was divided into four groups to focus on the following:
1. Ethics: Identify charters/guiding principles or pedagogical tools
2. An indicative bibliography produced from work done in the field and which foregrounds the voices of t
3. An indicative list of examples of what we believe to be ethical decolonizing practices that we have seen in use.
4. An indicative list of existing policies and the tools/research which speaks to the power and successfully changes the minds and/or the practice of policy-makers

How CHORUS contributes

CHORUS, as a non-profit organisation with a mission of cultivating respect for the rights of every individual, through contemporary artistic creation, education and cultural activity in general, is a member of one of the Art Lab research teams, which researches, records and categorizes ethical practices centred on artistic activities, in which groups of vulnerable populations are creators or, at least, active participants. Following this research, training tools will be produced, as well as educational material aimed at cultural organisations, development agencies, NGOs, and the Civil Society community.

In addition, CHORUS, in collaboration with the rest of the Art Lab team, sets the stage to further develop the platform and maximize the impact and diffusion of this project, through which Art will become a “vehicle” of advocacy for human rights.