In many countries around the world, there is less and less space for human rights and human rights defenders. Inequality and repression is rampant, policies more restrictive, and tactics to silence civil society have become increasingly brazen. SHRINKING SPACE gives a voice to people who stand up for the freedom and rights of others.
“First you lose your right to freedom. Then your right to life. And then you even lose your right to an identity, buried in a clandestine grave! This is totally inhumane and extremely perverse.” (Lucia, Mexican human rights defender working on missing persons)
“Unfortunately, any form of criticism towards the Russian government requires bravery.” (artist Nadezhda Titova).
With the installation, Footprints of Memory: Searching for Mexico’s Disappeared, SMX Collective sheds light on the thousands of people who disappear in Mexico and Latin America every year. Artists from the Colectivo Huellas de la Memoria engraved the stories of people looking for their missing relatives on the soles of their shoes as a testimony of their endless search, hindered by a system of resistance and impunity.
With her latest project, Inoffensive Art, Russian photographer Nadezhda Titova illustrates how artists in Russia are hindered in their capacity to criticise society and express themselves through art, film or theatre. In fear of retribution or attack, they must set boundaries for themselves.
This exhibition is an initiative of human rights organisation Justice and Peace Netherlands in cooperation with SMX Collective and Nadezhda Titova. Many thanks to Het Nutshuis and Fonds1818.