Drawing for freedom

Drawing for freedom

Black and white print by Suzannah Rehell Øistad « Azadliq/Freedom». Creator: Suzannah Rehell Øistad, KHIO/NHC. All rights reserved.

The art project ”Drawing for Freedom” is a cooperation between the Norwegian human rights organization the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Academy of Fine Art of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.

The thematic focus of the project is political prisoners in Azerbaijan. During the past two years there has been a massive crack-down on human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and other activists in Azerbaijan, and the country currently holds more than 80 political prisoners.

”Drawing for Freedom” aims at contributing to increased awareness and action to free these prisoners, as well as to convey a message of solidarity. The project is based on the notion that to draw is to see, and is inspired by ”Art for Democracy”, an initiative established in 2012 by Rasul Jafarov, a human rights activist currently in jail in Azerbaijan.

Some 20 art students and 3 Norwegian artists are involved in the project. The works presented here have been produced in September- November 2015, after the artists and students involved met with activists from Azerbaijan, including a former political prisoner and the relative of two of the political prisoners. Some of the works have been added at a later stage.

”Drawing for Freedom” has been exhibited in Paris City Hall, at Stockholm Defenders’ Days and at the Akershus Art Centre just outside Oslo.

The opening of the exhibition will be at June, 22. 2017, at 18.00pm. On this occasion a panel discussion will be hold on the political situation of Azerbaijan, more information follow soon.


Katja Giebel
Projektbearbeiterin Ost- und Südosteuropa
E-Mail giebel@boell.de
Telefon: +49(0)30 28534-388