Art for Democracy was launched by the HRC in December 2012. It builds upon the previous Sing for Democracy campaign, using all forms of artistic expression to promote democracy and respect for human rights in Azerbaijan. The campaign brings together Azerbaijan’s artistic and human rights communities, seeking creative ways to raise awareness about human rights issues in the country and promote democratic reform.
Through the Art for Democracy campaign, the HRC is addressing the need for new, creative tactics to counter the authorities’ ongoing repression of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Azerbaijan. As the authorities continue to quash dissent via more traditional means, it is becoming increasingly important to find new ways of drawing public attention to these violations and holding the authorities to account.
Art for Democracy is also addressing the need for the encouragement of artistic freedom of expression in Azerbaijan. Artists who dare to address sensitive issues such as democracy and human rights are largely marginalized, as they do not receive mainstream coverage. The Art for Democracy platform gives them a forum to come together and use their talents to promote democratic change and encourages the creation of new art.
Finally, Art for Democracy specifically seeks to engage Azerbaijan’s youth in discussion and activities related to democracy and human rights. The project’s creative approach is designed to attract the young demographic and inspire them to take action to improve the situation in their country.