Happy International Peace Day!

Short read

Today is International Peace Day. It felt like the right time to introduce and develop what we at Artraker are doing.

Our name ‘Artraker’ is derived from ‘Muckraker’, a term coined by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. It refers to the adversarial journalistic movement before the First World War that investigated and published truthful reports on social issues. “Artraker” draws on this tradition.

Artraker was launched as an initiative in 2012 and established as a Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2013. It supports exceptional visual arts projects that shape how people and organisations understand, engage and respond to violent conflict and situations of violence.

unseen

For its inaugural Award, Artraker received 300 submissions from 90 countries.  An international jury shortlisted 17 submissions and from these 5 nominees for the Award were selected. 12 shortlisted submissions were exhibited at Artrakers Launch and Award Event held on International Peace Day (21 September 2013) and hosted by Goldsmiths College, London University.  Alexia Webster was the recipient Artraker’s inaugural Annual Award in 2013 and San Zaw Htway won the Award in 2014. It has now become an biennial Award and the next one will be given in 2016. 

Blue moon on the highway, by San Zaw Htway, winner of the 2014 Artraker prize and feature in “Art of Peace”.  San Zaw Htway was arrested in April 2015 for a political installation in Yangon. He was later released. (source: http://www.dvb.no/news/artist-arrested-after-casting-new-year-curse/49999)

Blue moon on the highway, by San Zaw Htway, winner of the 2014 Artraker prize and feature in “Art of Peace”.
San Zaw Htway was arrested in April 2015 for a political installation in Yangon. He was later released. (source: http://www.dvb.no/news/artist-arrested-after-casting-new-year-curse/49999)

In 2015 Artraker continues to promote the encounter, exchange and interaction, between peace-builders, researchers, and cultural organisations on the one hand, and artists and creative practitioners on the other.  

Our vision is to help shape and inspire through visual art how people and organisations understand, engage and respond to conflicts, and to become the recognised home for powerful conflict art and artists.

We take a three-pronged approach to realize this vision –

– Showcase conflict art – as a profound communicative tool to understand the complex issues of conflict

– Influence stakeholders – decision makers, NGOs, the public, art critics

– Build relationships and communities – with artists and organisations

Some of our ongoing projects include the exhibition “Art of Peace”, which travelled to London in 2014 and Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2015. It will come back next year to the UK.

Negative Peace is the cessation of violence. Positive peace… creates conditions for the elimination of the causes of violence.

Johan Galtung, 1990

We are also working on our “Positive Peace” project, a collaboration around four major themes between artists and experts. Keep posted!

Artraker is the brainchild of political artist, Manali Jagtap-Nyheim and a group of visionary peace-building, academic, and creative organisations.    

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