Louder than Words: Art Activism in the Context of Belarusian Protest Movement

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Khvasevich, Volha
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Global Campus of Human Rights
The world’s reality of massive information, visual content and unexpected obstacles demands constant ongoing development of human rights-related tools and instruments as well as an interdisciplinary approach. Connecting artistic expression and activism creates a more understandable and effective language for speaking about sociopolitical processes and human rights than the official language of institutions worldwide. In the context of the protest movements in Belarus art activism became an instrument that influences the functioning and development of sociopolitical processes. The study aims to explore the phenomena of art activism in order to define the contribution of art activism to the sphere of human rights and democratic processes in the context of Belarusian protests. Using the methods of qualitative analysis of literature sources, evidence of art practices during protests and seven interviews with experts, artists and activists, the study defines art activism and its interconnection with human rights and also covers strengths and threats within the legal framework. On the basis of the study the main mechanisms of the impact of artistic expression on the democratic processes are defined. The current reality in the world reveals that artistic expression has a huge potential as an instrument in the sphere of human rights. The conceptualisation of current art activism experience and its contribution to the growth of the human rights dimension in Belarus in the context of the autocratic regime’s protest movement generates significant methodological support for the application of artistic means.
Global Campus - Caucasus.
CES - Master’s Degree Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in the Caucasus, Yerevan State University.
Second semester University: Yerevan State University.
art, Belarus, activists, protest, social movement, human rights