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April 21 2017

Artwatch Africa in Egypt | Too close for Comfort

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The latest edition of the Artist rights as human rights training workshop run by Artwatch Africa (a project of Arterial Network) was held in Alexandria (Egypt) at the Swedish Institute from the 9th to the 11th of April 2017.







During the course of the workshop (held in Arabic and English), participants had a long debate on the universality of human rights, their implications and their real application in the field, in everyday life. In an Egyptian context where the risks of attacks are almost permanent, the universal principle is therefore called into question. As if to illustrate this problematic dichotomy, a bomb was detonated around noon on the 9th of April, killing a dozen people just a few blocks away. The attack left a dark cloud over the progress of the workshop.

Over the next 3 days, the artists present shared their experiences, both good and bad, related to the defense of Human Rights. The issue of discrimination and marginalisation was at the heart of these discussions, as the independent artist remains one of the most vulnerable figures who is adversely affected by the current system.

According to the MENAsource report published in February last year, the year 2016 proved to be the most repressive in terms of Freedom of creative expression in Egypt. Seventy-eight (78) cases of violations were recorded, including cases of censorship, prohibition of entry and also imprisonment.

For more information about the report, please click here.

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