Posts Tagged ‘Open Society Foundations’

Call for applications: COVID-19 funding for artists and human rights defenders working together

April 14, 2020

The CAHR recognises that collaborative endeavours between activists and artists have the potential to provide innovative responses to the current COVID-19 emergency, whether in a reactive, therapeutic or imaginative form. The centre seeks applications from artists and activists to address one or more of the following three objectives:

  • Document, monitor and analyse events in real time.
  • Reflect on well-being, both your own and that of your communities/organisations.
  • Go beyond a reactive response to imagine new, alternative futures. This future oriented work could assess how crises and disruption open up new possibilities for creativity and innovation, as well as for regressive and repressive measures, and/or build on positive responses to the virus itself (local and global forms of solidarity).

Expected outputs

Activists could write a diary, make a weekly podcast, write a blog, etc. Artists could work in their chosen media to respond to the activist’s contribution and/or to wider developments in their country/region. The CAHR is open to innovative suggestions on the nature of the collaboration between activists and artists.

Project proposals

Activists and artists should apply by presenting a single collaborative project proposal that does not exceed two pages in length and includes the following:

  • A brief profile/bio of the artist(s) and activist(s) involved.
  • A brief description of the project/programme of work, highlighting in particular how it responds to the COVID-19 emergency and its links to activism and civic/political space; which of the three objectives set out above it responds to; any safety, security and ethical concerns, and how these will be addressed; whether it builds on existing initiatives or is a new collaboration, and through which media/methodologies it will be carried out.
  • The main beneficiaries and audiences of the project/programme of work and why the methodology/medium is appropriate for the local context.
  • Details of additional sources of funding or contributions.
  • The envisioned output(s) of the project/programme of work, for both the activist(s) and artist(s).
  • The amount of funding you are applying for, and a brief justification for the specific amount requested in the form of a basic budget and justification of resources (subsistence/salary costs can be included). It is envisaged that most grants will be for between £1 000 and £2 000. Additional justification will be required for larger awards, up to £3 000, for example, that the application involves groups of activists and/or artists.
  • One appendix featuring examples of artistic work can be included in the application. The appendix can be additional to the two-page application.

While applications need to be in English, activist and artist outputs that are in part or completely in local languages are welcome.

Criteria for assessment

  • Clear description of the link between COVID-19, and responses to the virus, on the one hand, and threats to activism and civic/political space on the other, affecting either the artists/activists making the application and/or their country.
  • Evidence of a strong working relationship between the artist(s) and activist(s).
  • Feasibility and relevance of the project in challenging and difficult circumstances (including consideration of safety, security and ethics).
  • Evidence of innovation and creativity.

Deliverables

Artists and activists are expected to provide a timeline for outputs in their application, between now and 31 December 2020. Artists and activists are also expected to submit a short joint report (two pages) detailing the activities undertaken as well as all expenses incurred, by 31 January 2021.

All inquiries and submissions should be directed to Piergiuseppe Parisiat at piergiuseppe.parisi@york.ac.uk (link sends e-mail)and Pippa Cooper at pippa.cooper@york.ac.uk(link sends e-mail).

Timeline

There is no fixed deadline for proposals – applications will be considered on a rolling basis over the coming months. The CAHR will endeavour to get back to applicants within two weeks. Successful proposals will be selected by a panel that will include CAHR staff and associates from a variety of backgrounds.

Copyright

Copyright for the outputs remains the sole and exclusive property of the artist and the activist. Terms of reference/contracts will provide the CAHR with the limited right to reproduce, publicly display, distribute and otherwise use the expected outputs in relation to the CAHR’s work, and as an example of work commissioned through the Open Society Foundations’ grant. Copyright will be addressed in terms of reference/contracts developed with successful applicants.

Confidentiality and ethics

The CAHR will discuss anonymity, confidentiality and other ethical issues with artists and activists as they arise in relation to specific projects.

Read the full call callforarctivists.pdf

2017 (2): Why the Space for Civic Engagement Is Shrinking

January 11, 2017

This is the second item addressing the world of human right defenders in 2017. I do this with an ‘old piece’ by Chris Stone, President of the Open Society Foundations, dating back to 21 December 2015 saying that across the globe, governments are shutting down spaces for civic engagement. Something that indeed has become evident.

It starts with the short video clip above in which George Soros, Binaifer Nowrojee, Mburu Gitu, and other experts discuss why this is happening—and how civil society can unite to prevent it.

All around the world, active citizenship is under attack and the space for civic engagement is closing—not just in countries that have struggled under repressive or autocratic governments, but also in democracies with longstanding traditions of supporting freedom of expression. There are many different reasons for this shrinking of the public space.

In some countries, especially newer democracies or countries undergoing political transitions, those in power are fearful of civic activism. Seeing its power, officials in governments with no previous experience regulating political protests or public debates have come down with a heavy hand, erring on the side of preventing change rather than encouraging it.

In other countries, including France and the United States—partly in response to the fear of terrorism—well-established civil liberties have been suspended or cast aside in the name of security. Such measures, from mass surveillance to martial law, reduce the space for civic life, the space where citizens do the work of improving our communities and societies.

Civil society is enormous in its size and diversity. We are members of the media, for-profit businesses, volunteer associations, political parties, trade unions, faith communities, private foundations, and nonprofit organizations. If we are united at all, we are united by our work outside of government and the state to advance the common good—even though we have different ideas of what that looks like.

Because the space we need for this work is closing, we must come together, understand our mutual dependence and interrelatedness, and support each other in this work. We must forge a new solidarity.

Source: Why the Space for Civic Engagement Is Shrinking

see other posts:https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/tag/civil-society-organisations/ 

We must find new ways to protect human rights defenders…and to counter the anti-human rights mood

December 12, 2016

Almost 20 years ago the UN adopted the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, but they face more danger than ever, say Iva Dobichina and James Savage (resp. of the Open Society Foundations and the Fund for Global Human Rights) in a post on 10 December 2016 in the Guardian. “We must find new ways to protect human rights defenders” say the authors in an excellent article so rich and – in my view correct – in its analysis of the current climate that I reproduce it below in full. What is perhaps missing from the piece is a call for more sustained action by the worldwide human rights movement to improve its ‘performance’ in the battle for public opinion. A lot of the regression in the situation of human rights defenders seems to go hand-in-hand with an increase in public support for rights-averse policies (“Around the globe, a tectonic shift towards autocratic and semi-authoritarian rule by law, and the pernicious influence of corporate, criminal and fundamentalist non-state actors, has put human rights activists on the defensive and let rights violators go on the offence” state the authors correctly). To counter this we have to come up with equally convincing use of the modern media, especially through professional-level visualisation and ideas for campaigns that can broaden and galvanize the human rights movement. Read the rest of this entry »