Action Art / Live Art / Performance Art artists critique the power structures and sometimes are targeted.
From Latin America to Asia, Africa, the Mid East, Europe to North America artists are targeted by governments, hate groups, and political organizations. These organizations offer some help for those who need and an opportunity to help for those who want to offer support.
Organizations helping vulnerable artists:
Assisting Artists whose Freedom, and Even Lives, are at Risk
ARTISTS at RISK (AR) is a non-profit network institution at the intersection of human rights and the arts. AR is dedicated to mapping the field of persecuted art practitioners, facilitating their safe passage from their countries of origin, hosting them at AR-Residencies and curating related projects, including the AR Pavilion .
Artists, writers, curators, critics and scholars are targets of politically motivated threats and persecution in great parts of the world. Perpetuum Mobile (PM) initiated Artists at Risk (AR) as a platform and network to support these art practitioners in times of need. This encompasses enabling their safe exit from countries of origin, the procurement of travel documents, providing legal assistance, and matching ARs with “AR-Residencies”. The AR-Network comprises a growing number of local nodes. Since 2013, it has created over 20 AR-Residencies for artists across 17 countries – from Finland, Germany and Spain to Tunisia and the Ivory Coast – offering temporary relocation for artists who face persecution or imprisonment for exercising their right to freedom of expression. The programme has assisted artists from Brazil, Syria, Vietnam, Egypt and Kenya, among many other countries.
Freedom of artistic expression is a fundamental human right and an indicator of a healthy and free society. But artistic freedom is under assault: autocratic regimes fear artists because they express cultural identity, advance new ideas, promote dialogue, and bear witness to inhumanity.
- A Safety Guide for Artists
- Resources for Ukranian Artists (many of these are not limited to Ukrainian artists, many are regional, some global)
- Find help in location for Artists – Showing 698 organizations
The Artist Protection Fund (APF) is an initiative of the Institute of International Education, sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The APF makes fellowship grants to threatened artists from any field of practice, and places them at host institutions in safe countries where they can continue their work and plan for their futures.
Led by immigration and human rights attorneys, Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI) facilitates pro bono immigration representation and resettlement assistance for international artists at risk.
Dedicated to safeguarding the right to artistic freedom, AFI was founded on the notion that artists are uniquely situated to positively and powerfully effect change, provided their voices can be heard. As artists are increasingly censored, imprisoned, restricted from moving freely across borders, tortured, or even killed, it is more critical than ever that we safeguard the right to artistic freedom and zealously champion the courageous artists who exercise it.
Helping with political action, fundraising, and showcasing marginalized voices from Afganistan. Through its forums, AAAWA illuminates a multiplicity of issues ranging from hybrid identities to gender and sexuality to the multigenerational impacts of war, including the ongoing ramifications of U.S. imperialism and capitalism.
- Emergency Funds for Afghan Artists, organized by AAAWA: https://www.gofundme.com/f/emergency-funds-for-afghan-artists
- International Rescue Committee: https://www.rescue.org/country/afghanistan
- Emergency Help for LGBTQ Afghans in Afghanistan, organized by Qais Munhazim: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-queer-and-trans-afghans-in-afghanistan
- Afghanistan: A call for urgent help, organized by Omar Haidari: https://www.gofundme.com/f/bjben-afghanistan-a-call-for-urgent-help
- Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontiers): https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/what-we-do/countries/afghanistan
Founded in 2001 as Asia Contemporary Art Week (ACAW), Asia Contemporary Art Forum (ACAF) is a dynamic curatorial and educational platform that connects leading New York and Asia-based artists, practitioners, institutions, and audiences to cutting-edge exhibitions, innovative projects, provocative dialogues, and networking opportunities.
The New School – The New University in Exile Consortium
The Consortium builds upon The New School’s legacy as the original University in Exile. Created in 1933 by The New School’s first President, Alvin Johnson, to provide a safe intellectual home for scholars fleeing the growing threat of Nazism in Europe.
ArtLords was established in 2014. It is a global grassroots movement of artivists motivated by the desire to pave the way for social transformation and behavioral change through employing the soft power of art and culture as a non-intrusive approach.
Artveda (NGO in Tunisia) has since been involved in artistic production, the organization of creative workshops in favor of marginalized groups (children without family support, LGBTQI community, etc.), but also in hosting artists at risk into residency. Artveda is in partnership with Artist At Risk funded by Creative Europe and the Institute of International Education (IIE).
Articles and Information
- Art is Power: 20 Artists on How They Fight for Justice and Inspire Change
- What Happens When Artists Get Trolled, Doxed and Threatened for Their Work
- Here Is Every Book Banned in America (2023)
- Outspoken Myanmar artist Htein Lin arrested by military government and sent to infamous prison (2022)
- ‘Rap Against Dictatorship’ artist arrested in Thailand (2020)
- Iranian artists jailed for defying government restrictions on women singing and dancing (2020)
- Artistic freedom threatened during coronavirus crisis (2020)
- Artists decry the growing tendency to arrest musicians for their lyrical content as autocratic censorship (2019)
- Death threats and denunciations: the artists who fear Bolsonaro’s Brazil (2018)
- Tania Bruguera Among Artists Detained During Anti-Government Protests in Cuba (2018)
- ARTISTS ARRESTED FOR PROTESTING NEW DECREE LIMITING ARTISTIC FREEDOM IN CUBA (2018)
- Cuba: Writers and Artists Remain Threatened and Imprisoned Two Months After Protests
- Popular Tanzanian singer arrested in latest internet crackdown (2018)
- Chinese Artist Ai WeiWei arrested in ongoing government crackdown (2011)
- Zinn, Howard: artists in times of war, New York, Seven Stories Press, 2003