When an artist first faces risk, there are not a lot of roadmaps: the experience can be incredibly isolating and disorienting. A Safety Guide for Artists explores topics such as defining and understanding risk, preparing for threats, fortifying digital safety, documenting persecution, finding assistance, and recovering from trauma.
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Tips and strategies were drawn from testimony of artists who have faced persecution, including Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera, Lebanese singer Hamed Sinno, American visual artist Dread Scott, and Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu, as well as the research and expertise of ARC’s vast network of partners.
To support the creation of this guide, ARC interviewed thirteen artists who have experienced or are currently experiencing persecution and censorship because of their work. The in-depth interviews lasted approximately one and a half to two hours and explored the artist’s career, activism, and experiences coping with risk and finding assistance. Conducting firsthand interviews enabled ARC to ascertain what the lived experience of risk is like, what tactics artists use to counter threats, what forms of support help most, and what forms of support remain lacking.