Our intention with the Rights Studio is to experiment with creative ways to challenge the status quo. We deeply reject the current climate of ever increasing inequality and aggression, and we believe that working in an environment where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, might be a way to take on this challenge.
In the words of Minna Salami: “despite living in the information age with an abundance of insight, we are incapable of solving pressing problems such as social injustice, sexism, racism, classism, specieism, climate change, poverty, restlessness, mental health issues, and loneliness. Regardless of how educated or developed a society is, these same problems are causing despair and division everywhere. So we must concede that we are either approaching the wrong problems or we are approaching the problems wrongly.”
So we want to try a different approach, one which focuses on two concepts: human rights and art.
Why Children’s Rights?
Children’s rights are human rights, this is as simple as it should be. However, it’s rarely understood or advocated in this way, at least not consistently. Rather, when it comes to children, the overwhelming approach is one of pity or charity.
Giving more rights and freedoms to groups of people who have traditionally not had them is always going to be threatening to some people, in particular those who hold more power and fear losing it, be it governments, institutions, adults or parents. However advancing freedom and equality for one group, advances freedom and equality for everyone.
A focus on children’s rights is also a way to point to the urgency and immediacy of actions that are required by society; children are humans today, with human rights today. But it is also a way to connect with our ancestors and with future generations so that our actions are grounded in work done before us and builds foundations for those who will come next.
Fighting for children’s rights is not just for children and their families, it’s not just for lawyers or NGOs or people who make the policy – it’s the foundation of an open, free and collaborative society.
Art has its roots in real life.
Metaphor and poetic figures as allegories are normally used in a very specific context unrelated to science. Always inviting other perspectives and perceptions married with a poetic sense of the world. Our intention here is to bring this artistic language into a science-social context, helping to open new communication roads. Art is a way of sensing the world which escapes classification, an emotional process that can complement the objectiveness that seems to govern society.
Art, in any form, can be understood as another kind of knowledge that needs and respects the freedom of the individual, the imagination and the capacity of creation; that is, the premises for criticism. The latter being the one that opens the door to nonconformity, this where any hope of radical change lies.