The Arts and Human Rights Research Workshop

Call for expressions of interests

The Human Rights Defender Hub (HRD Hub) at the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR), University of York, will host a workshop on the arts and research on 25-26 January 2018.

CAHR is an interdisciplinary research centre focusing on challenges and opportunities at the intersection between academic research and human rights practice. The HRD Hub seeks to support the work of frontline human rights activists through an integrated programme of research, capacity building, and concrete interventions to support activists at risk e.g. a Protective Fellowship Scheme.

The workshop will look at how the arts can contribute to four phases of research: conceptualising research; data gathering; data analysis; and research dissemination.  The rationale for the workshop is a belief that new approaches, methods and forms of communication are needed to understand and respond to challenges facing contemporary human rights activism, such as the attack on political freedoms around the world and shifting patterns of activism.

Integrating the arts into research processes represents one possible response to these developments. Arts have the potential to disrupt current ways of thinking; generate new and unexpected insights; help the researcher understand the world from another's perspective; facilitate collaborations across various forms of difference; reveal the previously hidden or silenced; make the research process more accessible for non-researchers; help participants talk about traumatic or very personal experience; and reach new audiences.

We are interested in receiving expressions of interest from artists, activists and/or researchers to:

  • Present research or exhibit art work which has been produced by collaborations integrating the arts into one or more of the phases of research outlined above (these expressions of interest can address human rights broadly defined, including conflict, development, etc.).

  • Present new pilot research proposals involving artists, activists and researchers which relate to risk and security for HRDs, or new patterns of human rights activism.

Small grants are available to support attendance at the workshop for presenters, exhibitions / performances which will take place during the workshop, and potentially to support new pilot research projects.

Expressions of interest should include a narrative description of the project / proposal explaining how the arts were or will be integrated into the research process (no longer than 500 words), and a budget. Pilot applications should indicate where future funding may come from for larger research bids. Please send the narrative and budget in one document to by 21 July 2017.