Art is an increasingly important tool for global communication and movement building. ICAAD is harnessing the power of art and creating spaces for artivists. Art can move audiences to action from the heart, and ICAAD considers fostering the next generation of artivists fundamental to fulfilling its mission as a human rights organization.
Artivists in Residence 2022
At ICAAD, we believe that the arts are a powerful tool for activism, and play a vital role in raising awareness for human rights issues around the world. So, we are thrilled to introduce our five new Artivists in Residence for 2022!
These five brilliant artists and creatives come from a diversity of backgrounds but share a commitment to exploring the relationship between human rights advocacy and the arts. Each artist is in the midst of producing a new collection to share with the world this fall. We’re excited to see what our next cohort of Artivists come up with – read on to find out more about them and their work!
Yoga Teacher, Writer
Website: www.radicallyeverafter.com | Instagram: @radicallyeverafter
Namita Kulkarni is a yoga teacher, writer and artist based in India. She’s been teaching yoga for the last 12 years. A gold-medallist law graduate, she also has a Post-graduate Diploma in Intellectual property rights from National Law School of India University, Bangalore.
Her Artivist project aims to demonstrate how colonialism has been (and continues to be) the major cause of the climate crisis. Colonialism and the climate crisis both being rooted in ever-extractive ways of life which stand disconnected from any sense of wonder and humility before the infinite workings of the planet. Her project also explores how indigenous wisdom might bring us to our role as a custodial species with a sense of belonging to the planet rather than possessing it.
Dilpreet Bhullar is a writer and researcher based in New Delhi, India. With an MPhil from the University of Delhi in Comparative Literature, she has been the recipient of the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability Fellowship at Columbia University, New York. She is co-editor of the books Third Eye: Photography and Ways of Seeing and Voices and Images. Her essays on identity politics, the representation of refugees in print and digital media, and visual sociology are frequently published in leading books and journals. Currently, she is the associate editor of a theme-based journal dedicated to visual arts, published by India Habitat Centre.
Dilpreet is developing the project entitled Narrative of Object and Voice of Memory Refugees from Myanmar, Afghanistan, Somalia in Delhi and Kashmir. The exercise to retrace the intangible memory entwined with the tangible object is the core of the project. The etic framework of the projects offers refugees the agency to share a figment of personal memory of loss to reconcile with the past in the present with a desire of creating a promising future. Towards this end, the photo-documentation of the object – a source of emotive personal attachment – interweaves the personal histories and experiences of displacement in an effort to forge a path of emancipation from the umbrella definitions of refugees.
“The exercise to retrace the intangible memory entwined with the tangible object is the core of the project.”
Katja Phutaraksa Neef
Katja Phutaraksa Neef is a self-taught political artist born and raised in Thailand and grew up in Japan and Aotearoa. She has participated in field research and workshops in Fiji, Vanuatu, Thailand, Cambodia, Tanzania, Peru, Indonesia, and West Papua with a regional focus on Asia and the Pacific. Her academic research and advocacy interests include issues concerning land governance and dispossession, social inclusion, Indigenous rights, forced migration, and climate justice.
Katja’s artworks explore key human rights themes surrounding Climate Justice, refugees, forced displacement, and racial justice through ostensibly innocuous mediums such as art, predominantly using mixed media, sculpture, and oil paint.
Artist, Facilitator & Wellness Practitioner
Queen is an Artist, Facilitator & Wellness Practitioner from the indigenous Munsee Lenape lands called Brooklyn, New York. From music to meditation and more, Queen designs multi-media experiences that integrate performing & visual arts with practical healing techniques. Current work explores intergenerational dialogue as a key resource for addressing age-ism, implementing holistic healthcare & housing justice.
“I believe that Art is Technology – a ’spiritual device’
… for human(e) connection & transformation …”
Illustrator, Performance Artist, Storyteller
Vishavjit Singh is a New York City based TEDx speaker, illustrator, performance artist, storyteller, and creator of www.Sikhtoons.com. He got his spark for cartooning in the post 9/11 tragedy when Americans with turbaned and bearded countenance became targets of hate/bias crimes. For the past few years, he has been traveling across the US with his Captain America persona armed with a turban, beard, and humor to tackle fear, anxiety, bigotry, and intolerance. He uses storytelling as a tool to create a space for challenging conversations around identity, race, bias, vulnerability, and how to be agents for positive change. He hosts talks & keynotes in schools, universities, government agencies and companies including Google, Apple, NASA & Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. As an artivist and a survivor of the 1984 genocidal massacre of Sikhs in India, he is working to capture the stories of many like himself who survived this tragedy.
Our First Artist-In-Residence Harbani Ahuja
Harbani created a series of poems called “Dicta” from important U.S. Supreme Court cases spanning two centuries. The law is often viewed as a larger than life concept that is inaccessible and difficult to understand. Many people also view the law as the equivalent of justice. The Dicta series exposes the gaps between the law and justice, and educates and inspires the general public to understand the timelessness of the struggle for human and civil rights in the United States.
Watch Harbani speak about Dicta, revealing her process with two poems.
Harbani’s series of poems covers themes of Women’s Rights, Rights of Black People, LGBTQI+ Rights, Immigration Rights, and Indigenous Rights. We launched the first set of poems on the Rights of Black People in the ABA Journal. Her work will also be showcased at Clifford Chance’s New York Offices and Graymatters. Dicta will also be showcased through a virtual interactive exhibit which will be launched at the end of the year. Listen to Harbani share about Dicta and her residency on the Legal Talk Network.
We welcome artists and creatives with an interest in learning about human rights, and a background in visual arts including but not limited to painting, drawing, mixed media, design, photography, digital/ interactive art.
The residency is remote, and applicants can be located anywhere in the world. Preference will be given to applicants that connect with ICAAD’s programmatic areas and partnerships.
What We’re Asking of the Artivists
- Engage with the ICAAD team in developing the collection.
- Complete the agreed-upon collection by September 1, 2022.
- Support the dissemination of your artwork through interviews, appearances (virtual and/or in person), etc.
What We’re Offering
- $2,000-$5,000 USD per artist to cover labor, access needs, and material. Artists will receive 70% of their approved budget by March 1, 2022, and 30% upon submission of artwork.
- Online Human Rights Advocacy Course for artists and creatives.
- Distribution and promotion of artwork through a collaborative online campaign.
- Ongoing engagement with the ICAAD Team, Advisory, and Partners.
- Potential for in-person exhibitions.
- Percentage of art sales.
Topic Areas Include*
- Climate Justice
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Women’s Rights
- Indigenous Rights
- Citizenship / Caste / Immigration
- Worker’s Rights
- Racial Justice
- Nuclear Justice & Non-Proliferation
*But are not limited to
Proposal Submission Instructions
Please include the following in your submission:
Video or Written Statement
A 1-3 min video or 1-2 page written statement including a description of what you aim to produce in the residency, what your objective is for the residency, and what key human rights themes you’ll be exploring.
$2,000-5,000 USD per artist to cover labor, access needs, and material
3-4 Samples of previous work
Link to websites, social media pages, or files
Email your application to: info at icaad.ngo
Rolling decisions are being made and awards will be announced on Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, 2021.