The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities

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:: Click to play the video of the Founder and Director of Sites of Passage Tavia La Follette's presentation below ::

:: Scroll down to view the Founder and Director of Sites of Passage Tavia La Follette's presentation below ::

Tavia La Follette, Founder and Director, Sites of Passage • 

In her talk, La Follette discussed Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs: An Exchange between South Africa and the US, a project that is building a virtual and tangible laboratory/think tank between artists in South Africa and artists in the US. Sites of Passage has previously facilitated exchanges between Egypt and the US (revolving around the Egyptian Revolution and the Occupy Movement) and, most recently, Israel, Palestine and the US (revolving around the ideas of borders, walls and citizenship). These cultural and collaborative dialogues include voices from a variety of artistic practices, placing professional artists next to students. As the US moves past the 50th anniversary of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts and South Africa moves through its 20th year of post-apartheid democracy, La Follette’s talk and project reflected on what we can learn from one another. What have we done wrong and what have we done right? How do our governments, communities and societies discern our past and apply it to our present? Are environmental rights the same as human rights? By meeting with civil rights activists, artists and historians from both countries, the goal is to use art as a platform for exposing and addressing environmental racism. In recognition of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and in preparation for the 2016 presidential election of 2016, Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs also aims to interact, educate and activate the next generation of voters.