Dear Community Members,
The Arts Rights Justice (formerly freeDimensional) online community looked completely different just a few weeks ago. Whereas the name, color and design have changed, the central purpose of the community has remained the same ... and becomes ever more important: To open up channels of support, information and resource exchange between the arts and human rights sectors at an informal, yet consistent, level of engagement. We want to encourage you to use the potential that this tool has to offer:
- Tell us when you hear about a culture worker in trouble (an Action Alert)
- Build new relationships
- Describe your projects
- Start topical groups and launch advocacy campaigns
- Find volunteers, journalists, exhibition spaces and artist residencies to partner with
- Ask questions about visas and mobility
- Share tactics in fundraising and using our inherent (artistic) strengths to barter for in-kind resources
- And many other things we haven't even thought of yet.
Ole Reitov`s post on imprisoned Cameroonian musician, Lapiro de Mbanga is a timely example of how you can immediately help a culture worker in trouble by sending a simple letter of solidarity. You have just received a separate email about this case due to its urgency (Lapiro is quite sick right now). Please react on this case, but also be aware that if you know of an urgent situation (and articulate action steps in your post), the administration of this site will quickly share it with the entire community as an Action Alert.
We also wanted to say more about why the site recently changed. After two years of managing the website that hosts the online community, freeDimensional invited some other networks it works with to get involved. The result is the International Coalition for Arts, Human Rights, & Social Justice, made up of leaders from the human rights sector, free expression organizations, mobility operators, and arts networks. In addition to hosting the website, engaging the online community, and amplifying the voices and concerns of its members, the Coalition has started its own group on the site. As a member, you can also build smaller groups to pursue specific ideas or launch an advocacy campaign. Learn more on how to post and start a group here!
Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing your feedback and seeing you online. Speaking of seeing you online, we want to encourage you to add profile pictures so that the community becomes more personable and trusting (with fewer of thoseless gray, uniform profiles) ... basically we want to see your pretty faces!
(on behalf of the International Coalition for Arts, Human Rights & Social Justice)