Democracy and participation, Arts and cultural activities

Resistance Art Week (RAW) shortlist


Who is behind this?

Alina Abdullayeva



Who is joining forces?

Swedish Institute Creative Force funding (to be applied)


The International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (in negotiations)


The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) (In negotiations)


In negotiation with International cultural and art institutions supporting artists at risk all around Europe, also institutions protecting democracy and dealing with human rights.

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

Hundreds of artists leave their counties and seek asylum in Europe because their voices have been silenced. RAW is a forum that gathers exile artists currently living in EU and artists who’s art is a subject for the persecution in their own countries right now. The aim - By re-enacting artistic ideas in public spaces through interaction, focused on a truly diverse audience, we want to encourage political change and at the same time remind Europeans that democracy is not to be taken for granted.

Where will your idea take place?

Stockholm, Sweden

Why does Europe need your idea?

Europe has become interconnected with World through the refugees and we are living in turbulent times when thinking about better life for ourselves we might miss the global picture of the outcome of our decisions. The cultural provocation will give us a new perspective on rethinking the idea of Europe, not as a place disconnected from the rest of the world, and protecting its values, but instead sharing them. Stop trying to ’integrate’ - get ‘integrated’ into the new situation! Art has a strong effect on people. It places us in different situations, puts us in somebody’s else shoes, make us tolerant and more open. Every layer of this kind of experience builds our identity, gives us idea of what responsibility we want to take… and what decision we want to make during the next elections.

What is your impact?

By putting future decision makers and a large diverse audience out of their comfort zone, the event will spark a debate that influences policies regarding censorship and freedom of expression. We will highlight the personal stories of each artist through creative marketing and wide media coverage. At the same time the event will connect artists and activists, giving them the opportunity to come up with new strategies for a more effective future collaboration. With a successful pilot festival, we aim to secure funding for years to come and to spread the concept across Europe. In the long run, we want RAW to become a strong voice among those who guard freedom of culture and democratic rights, thereby encouraging European voters to protect their rights.

How do you get there?

Using cross media storytelling we will market the event long before the event starts. We want to involve the audience at a very early stage. RAW will be carried out simultaneously with a bigger political event (Example: to help gain as much international attention as possible. We will implement a series of interventions with focus on word FORBIDDEN – provocative statements explored by every individual artists in a specific public space or political institution. Direct interaction with an artwork will force the spectators to imagine a situation where they lose the basic human rights. We will involve decision makers in debates through the course of the event. We will also produce film about RAW and distribute through festivals & WOD to follow up the event.

What is your story?

In the places I used to live, as artist fled the country, there was almost no-one left to collaborate with. My work as an art curator became impossible, and I decided to move. Now we are all spread across Europe, each of us separately fighting with identity crisis and trying to find new ways of cultural expressions. Art is a reflection of the society. Those who are courageous enough to show it through the critical prism are often criminalized and accused by being called terrorists. During the last years these tendencies have become more and more apparent also in European countries. Now is the time to get reminded that if we do not take responsibility and remain passive as a citizens we might easily loose our rights.

Who are you doing it for?

First of all we want to reach the diverse and wide audience outside the ”art crowd” and the ”art elite” (public spaces). Second we want to reach and include NGOs working with civil society, politicians and potential future decision makers on different levels (institutions and universities). We also have ambition to reach out to the audience the art was initially created for, but could not reach due to censorship - to bring it back to where it has originated from through digital media and publicity. Another target group are invited participants – it is a chance for artists in exile and visiting artists currently living under surveillance to be part of a new community and to connect with creatives and activists with similar experiences, as well as NGOs and decision makers.

What makes your idea stand apart?

There many exhibitions and biennales who has exile as subject, but they mainly turn exclusively to the cultural crowd. We will be using direct and simple methods – just like a resistance group. Our event will not be curated by art curators, but by the activists, and it targets a new audience. Bringing censored and controversial artists and pieces of art, or the story of such art, coming vastly from different backgrounds but all with similar stories of persecution, from all parts of the world, into one place, showing their joint forces and letting them exchange knowledge and ideas - is unique and a nice contrast to the established art world (where provocative art is used as a selling point). Let’s focus on activism and give back the world ’RESISTANCE’ its initial meaning.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 77500,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Accomodation 5,880 EUR; Event coasts 9,500 EUR; Public relations 5,500 EU; Personnel coasts 12,000 EUR.

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

Any sort of possible risks analysis, examples of provocation ethic, practical advices about working with controversial art in different countries. Anything you might find relevant to our project is helpful!




Idea created on Jan. 15, 2018
Last edit on May 22, 2018

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