Alfredo Jaar “The PRISMA photo contest becomes a forum to discuss about Human Rights in total freedom”

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On 7 May 2015, PRISMA - Human Rights Photo Contest organised by the Global Campus in collaboration with Lightbox, was presented at a breakfast meeting at My Art Guides Venice Meeting Point, with the participation of the Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar and Fabrizio Marrella, Professor of International Law and of International Business Law at the University of Venice and Dean of the Human Rights Village (HRV).

This meeting, taking place few days ahead the opening of the 56th Biennale - the International Art Exhibition, was moderated by Teresa Sartore from Lighbox. The goal of PRISMA is to complement academic research with other media of knowledge, such as photography, to reach a wider international public and foster a better understanding of the issues concerning human rights and their protection.

The discussion focused on the connection between art, and in particular photography, and human rights. Alfredo Jarr emphasized that “Art is one of the few spaces left for freedom nowadays” […] and this is why “a competition like PRISMA becomes an important forum to discuss about human rights”.

Moreover, Alfredo Jaar made reference to the power of images and their circulation, highlighting the paradox about photography. In fact, thanks to the new technologies, everybody can be a photographer, hence the number of images have been increasing exponentially. The artist said also that images are not innocent but contain a conception of the world, thus there is the need to learn how to read and interpret them.

If nowadays photography is much more accessible thanks to the internet, this at the same time also carries a risk, as underlined by Prof. Marrella. Many governments have developed specific technologies to fragment the space of internet through electronic censorships. It is therefore important to guarantee human rights and freedom in internet.

With the purpose of stimulating further reflection and raise awareness on these issues, the Global Campus of Master’s Programmes and Diplomas in Human Rights and Democratisation and the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and democratization invites photographers, professional and amateurs, from all over the world to submit their photos on the subject of freedom.

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