Interview with Zahara Gomez Lucini, Winner of the First Joint Annual Engaged Artivist Award

The Press Office of the Global Campus of Human Rights interviewed Artivist Zahara Gomez Lucini about winning the first Joint Annual Engaged Artivist Award on Atrocity Prevention and Human Rights co-organised with the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) in collaboration with the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (I-GMAP) at Binghamton University.

Could you tell us more about your background and career as artist and activist (Artivist)?

I’m from an Argentinian family, born in Madrid, raised in Paris, settled in Mexico.

I am a photographer; I studied art history and anthropology in France. At first I wanted to dedicate myself to photojournalism but I quickly realized that it was not for me, because journalism rarely gives the time and space to work in depth on a topic and create human bonds.

From a very young age, at home we talked about human rights and the right to justice and memory, I think that is why I soon dedicated myself to working on the issue of enforced disappearance, through photography while committing myself long-term to the familie’s collectives looking for their loved ones to find together the fairest narrative forms.

You obtained the first Joint Annual Artivist Award on Atrocity Prevention and Human Rights. What are your future plans during the given period of artistic research residency both in Italy and US?

I want to take this opportunity to research and study the issues of transitional justice and children's rights. To be able to develop a project with young people who are also looking for their missing parents or siblings. I also want meeting and connecting with people who are or will be dedicated to creating social changes with tools other than mine.

How should we keep strengthening the links between arts and human rights?

I think there is a lot to do, a lot to invent. I think we have to be inventive to imagine real connections, to design projects together. Start with small projects perhaps, to strengthen both fields. For me, art is political and transformative, it has to contribute, it has to accompany, it has to stand for a significant social change. Against incomprehensible and confusing realities, against darkness, against fear and injustice, Art can be a powerful tool. If legal knowledge of human rights is applied to creative projects that communicate visually, then I believe it can reach a large part of society and create change.

If we manage to create concrete alliances, with concrete projects where art and human rights become a single voice, then I think the impact would be incredible.

Could you give a message to the students, professors, alumni, staff and partners of the global campus for human rights?

I hope to have time to meet everyone who is currently on campus. I would love to talk with them to think together about new impact formats, because I am convinced that we have a lot to share.

The call for applications for the second Joint Annual Engaged Artivist Award on Atrocity Prevention and Human Rights is open until 10 December 2023.

For more information contact our Press Office

Elisa Aquino – Giulia Ballarin – Andrea Cammarata

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