The Artistic Freedom Initiative Resettles Afghan Artists and Their Families
September 28, 2022
Cited article by Gareth Harris, The Art Newspaper
HRRC applauds the work of The Artistic Freedom Initiative in surpassing their goal for number of artists relocated from Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, many more Afghan artists and their families will require support, and continued support of this project is invaluable.
A human rights organization based in New York, The Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI), has surpassed its goal in resettling 23 Afghan art professionals and 38 family members. The group specifically provides pro-bono legal assistance for artists at risk with immigration lawyers who work on individual cases. The group initially pledged via the Afghan Artists Protection Project (AAPP) to relocate 18 artists and family members. Through the Europe branch of the AAPP, another 47 Afghan artists and 121 family members have been relocated to Germany with assistance from the New Jersey based SDK Foundation for Human Dignity.
The project received support from the New York-based Mellon Foundation, and has worked to provide placements for the artists with partner organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The organization expects the number of Afghan artists and families to increase over the coming months, and currently receives weekly requests for legal assistance from Afghanistan artists.