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Dangerous Art, Endangered Artists

New York | May 10

Friday, May 10
Independent Art Fair
Studio X, Ground Floor
50 Varick Street
New York, NY 10013

The events are free, but registration is required for each. Note: Attending the events on May 10 also allows attendees to enjoy the Independent Art Fair—for free!

Join Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) and Art at a Time Like This (ATLT) for Dangerous Art, Endangered Artists, an event series featuring interdisciplinary discussions to highlight the challenges of censorship faced by artists around the world and foster unity within the artistic community in defense of artistic freedom and human rights. 

Over the past few years, ARC and ATLT have observed a dramatic increase in artistic censorship, ranging from book bans and anti-drag legislation in the U.S. to unjust laws worldwide that threaten artists and seek to erase rich cultures. Amid the deplorable and continued devastation aimed at the civilian population in Gaza and the immense destruction of art and cultural heritage, the intensifying conflicts on U.S. campuses, and at least 64 countries having or planning to head to the polls in 2024, the series will feature an interdisciplinary assembly of discussions that encapsulate the landscape of a new artistic revolution. Discussions will underscore the vital role of artists and cultural professionals as human rights defenders, and signal the distinct challenges creatives face due to their activism.

Across three impactful days in May and June, Dangerous Art, Endangered Artists will convene an extraordinary gathering of socially-engaged artists and cultural workers to explore the strong links between art and human rights.  

The series begins on Friday, May 10, at Independent. And, our weeks later, on June 7 and 8, ARC and ATLT will co-host a two-day summit at BRIC, Brooklyn’s leading arts and cultural institution. The program features a series of timely and dynamic discussions between leading voices in the art world, such as the visionary photographer and visual artist Shirin Neshat, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, and the renowned visual artist Dread Scott, among other dynamic cultural voices.

Art and the Politics of Resistance | 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

In our age of increased censorship both online and in public policies, does art have the power to catalyze meaningful social change? Or will it fall victim to the repression it seeks to resist? Join four artists and curators from different cultural contexts spanning from Ukraine to China as they discuss the interconnectedness of art and social activism.

Lesia Khomenko
(Ukraine), Rudy Loewe (UK), Dan Perjovschi (Romania), and Xiaoyu Weng (China) will explore the challenges artists face as socially engaged and political actors and the impact that artistic creation has on global social movements. This conversation with be moderated by ARC's director, Julie Trebault.

Compromise and Action: Participating in a Global Art World | 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

What does it mean for art institutions to operate in a world where censorship exists? Is it possible for museums to be both targeted by censorship and the perpetrators of it? How can museums use their platforms and resources to amplify the work of artists at risk?

Join two art professionals, Tania El Khoury, Director of the Center for Human Rights & the Arts at Bard College, and Laura Raicovich, curator, writer, and editor of Protodispatch, for a conversation on the uncomfortable truths about institutional self-censorship and the critical work currently being done to reinvigorate cultural spaces in “Compromise and Action: Participating in a Global Art World.”

  • Tania El Khoury, Lebanese artist and director of the Center for Human Rights & the Arts at Bard College
  • Laura Raicovich, New York City-based writer and curator, author of Culture Strike: Art and Museums in a Time of Protest

Don’t Delete Art: Is Social Media Beyond Our Control? | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Art censorship is alive and well on social media, where major tech companies serve as arbiters, dictating what content is seen and what is banned or pushed into the digital margins through algorithmic control. This can have dire consequences for emerging artists who use online platforms to build their careers, earn income, and display their art in otherwise repressive societies.

Join a group of distinguished artists and cultural professionals as they will explore the reality of artistic suppression on social media and the tangible impacts censorship on digital platforms can have on artists' livelihoods, emotional well-being, and free expression.

Speakers (List in order of appearance)

Lesia Khomenko (she/her)

Lesia Khomenko is a multidisciplinary artist who reconsiders the role of painting – she deconstructs narrative images and transforms paintings into objects, installations, performances, or videos. She was born in Kyiv and graduated National academy of fine art and architecture in 2004. Co-founder and member of R.E.P. group (since 2004) and curatorial group Hudrada (since 2008) in Ukraine. She was in the short list of PinchukArtPrize (2009, 2011 and 2013), Future Generations Art Price with R.E.P. group (2012) founded by Victor Pinchuk and Kazimir Malevich Artist Award (2012 and 2016). Her works are in public collections including M HKA (BEL), Ludwig Museum (HU), Art Collection Telecom (DE), and Albertinum (DE). Lesiaʼs works have been shown in solo and group exhibitions, among others at Ukrainian Museum in New York, New York (US); MUSEUM DE FUNDATIE (NL), Albertinum, Dresden (DE); Collateral Event of the 59th International Art Exhibition the Venice Biennial, Venice (IT); The European Parliament (BE); Museum Folkwang (DE); Fridman Gallery, NYC (US). Khomenko’s works have been covered and reviewed by The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Art Newspaper, and Frieze, among others. She was taking part in panels and public talks in MoMA, NY, NY (2022), Eastern Connecticut State University Willimantic, CT (2022), James Gallery at CUNY, NY, (2023), Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL (2023) Scandinavia House, NY, NY (2023). She currently lives in New York, NY, USA.

Rudy Loewe (they/them)

Rudy Loewe (b.1987) lives and works in London, UK. Their artistic practice responds to the state violence that shapes our remembering of history and the intentional silences in institutional archives. They form narratives and make space for different kinds of knowledge by inviting in those voices suppressed by the dominant retelling of history. Through painting, Loewe unravels British government operations dismantling Caribbean Black Power movements during the 1960s and ‘70s as a part of their ongoing PhD research.  Anansi, the trickster, is a recurrent character in Loewe’s work, whom they envisage as a gender-nonconforming shapeshifter. Loewe questions who amongst us is forced to shapeshift in order to survive. They integrate spider technologies into their paintings, considering how these might be harnessed into practice by trans communities.  Loewe has exhibited internationally in institutions and galleries, including the 2023 Liverpool Biennial, UK; South London Gallery, UK; Royal Academy, UK; Regart Centre D'Artistes En Art Actuel, CA; Serpentine Galleries, UK; and Marabouparken, SE. And they will exhibit at the 2024 Toronto Biennial. Residencies include: Labverde, Brazil (2023); Wysing Arts Centre, UK (2023); Serpentine Galleries, UK (2020); Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Canada (2019). Loewe is represented by VITRINE London/Basel.

Dan Perjovschi (he/him)

Dan Perjovschi lives and works in Bucharest and Sibiu, Romania. His solo exhibitions include: “Drawing the World”, Ludwig Forum for International Art Aachen (2021), The Prize Drawing“ Kunsthalle Hamburg (2016), “Unframed” Kiasma, Helsinki (2013); “Not over” MACRO, Rome (2011); “What Happen to US?” MoMA (2007); “I am not Exotic I am Exhausted” Kunsthalle Basel (2007), “The Room Drawing” Tate Modern (2006) “May First” Moderna Museet Stockholm (2006) and “Naked Drawings” Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2005). He has participated in numerous group shows including Documenta 15 (2022); Sao Paolo Biennial (2014); Sydney Biennial (2008); “The Magelanic Cloud” Centre Pompidou (2007); the Venice Biennale (2007) and the 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005).  Perjovschi received the George Maciunas Prize in 2004, The European Cultural Foundation Prize in 2012 (with Lia Perjovschi), and Rosa Schapire Prize/Kunsthalle Hamburg in 2016, Represented by Jane Lombard New York and Michel Rein Paris/Brussels

Xiaoyu Weng (she/her)

Xiaoyu Weng is an award-winning curator and writer based in New York. Her curatorial and writing practices focus on the impact of globalization, identity, and decolonization, as well as the intersection of art, science, and technology. Most recently, she was the Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, and head of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in Toronto, Canada. Previously, she was The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Associate Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, where she curated highly acclaimed exhibitions Tales of Our Time (2016–17) and One Hand Clapping (2018). Featuring newly commissioned artworks by thirteen artists and artist collectives, the exhibitions challenge myths of identity and nation-state constructions. In 2018-2019, Weng served as the curator of the 5th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The biennial was awarded the “Best Exhibition of the Year” by the Art Newspaper Russia. Weng was the director and curator of Asia Programs at Kadist Art Foundation (Paris/San Francisco, 2010-2015). She continues to serve as a program and collection advisor for the Foundation. She writes regularly on contemporary art and visual culture and has published widely in catalogues and periodicals.

Julie Trébault (she/her)

Julie Trébault is the managing director of PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection project. A highly respected leader in the art world, she brings skills, experience, and a network to launch a new support system for artists at risk worldwide. Prior to joining PEN America, she served as director of public programs at the Museum of the City of New York, where she built a robust roster of panel discussions, performances, screenings, and symposia spanning New York City’s arts, culture, and history. She previously was director of public programs at the Center for Architecture. Before moving to New York, she worked at the National Museum of Ethnology in The Netherlands, where she built a network of 116 museums across the globe that shared a virtual collection of masterpieces and developed an innovative array of online and mobile applications and exhibitions to make the collection as widely accessible as possible. From 2004 until 2007, she was Head of Higher Education and Academic Events at the Musée du quai Branly (Paris), where she conceived and implemented a policy for higher education by creating an international network of universities, graduate schools, and research institutes. Trébault holds a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from the Sorbonne University, a Master’s Degree in Archeology from the University of Strasbourg, and teaches at Fordham University. 

Tania El Khoury (she/her)

Tania El Khoury is a live artist whose work focuses on audience interactivity and its political potential. She creates installations and performances in which the audience is a witness and an active collaborator. Tania’s work has been translated to multiple languages and shown in 32 countries across 6 continents in spaces ranging from national museums to small boats in the Mediterranean Sea. She is the recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, Soros Art Fellowship, and many others. She is Distinguished Artist in Residence of Theater & Performance and the Director of the Center for Human Rights & the Arts at Bard College in New York. She holds a PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London. She is associated with Forest Fringe collective of artists in the UK and is a co-founder of the urban research and live art collective, Dictaphone Group in Lebanon. 

Laura Raicovich (she/her)

Laura Raicovich is a New York City-based writer and curator. Her recent book, Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest, was published in 2021 by Verso Books and is being translated into Arabic, Portuguese, and Italian. She is editor and curator of Protodispatch, a digital publication featuring artists’ takes on the local and global conditions that make their work necessary; she initiated the forum with Mari Spirito and Protocinema in 2022. In 2020, Raicovich became a co-founder of Urban Front, a transcontinental consultancy addressing the challenges facing cities through a progressive cultural and activist lens. With a collective of artists, musicians, and culture workers, Raicovich recently opened The Francis Kite Club, a bar/cultural/activist space in NYC’s East Village. She is also working on a new book project titled 31 Women, as well as a podcast series, Cultural Counterpower, produced by Politics in Motion. While Director of the Queens Museum from 2015 to 2018, Raicovich co-curated Mel Chin: All Over the Place (2018), a multi-borough survey of the artist's work. Raicovich then served as Interim Director of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art; was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the Bellagio Center; and was awarded the inaugural Emily H. Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators at Hyperallergic. Previously, she held positions at Creative Time, Dia Art Foundation, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Public Art Fund. Raicovich is the author of At the Lightning Field (CHP 2017) and A Diary of Mysterious Difficulties (Publication Studio 2014); she is co-editor of Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production (OR 2017) and Studies into Darkness: The Perils and Promise of Freedom of Speech (Amherst Press 2022). She lectures internationally. 

Elizabeth Larison (she/they)

Elizabeth Larison is Director of the Arts & Culture Advocacy Program at the National Coalition Against Censorship, leading initiatives to advise and educate artists, curators, and cultural institutions on how to address the presentation of controversial works. Elizabeth is also an active member of Don't Delete Art, a collaboration between free speech organizations and activists working to defend the freedom of artistic expression online. With academic degrees in Human Rights (BA) and Curatorial Studies (MA), and over fourteen years of working with and in support of artists and curators, Elizabeth brings a depth of understanding to the fundamental importance of defending artistic expression. Prior to joining NCAC, Elizabeth worked in curatorial, programmatic, and directorial capacities for arts organizations and venues such as Flux Factory, the Park Avenue Armory, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and apexart.

Sibila Sotomayor (she/her)

Sibila Sotomayor Van Rysseghem is a performing artist from Valparaíso and a lecturer and researcher at Universidad de Valparaíso. She holds a degree in theatre from Universidad de Valparaíso, a Master's degree in sociology and anthropology from Université Catholique de Louvain and a PhD in social sciences from Universidad de Chile. She is one of the founding members of colectivo LASTESIS; artistic, feminist and interdisciplinary collective, with whom she has created multiple performances such as Canciones para cocinar (2023), RESISTENCIA o la reivindicación de un derecho colectivo (2021), el violador eres tú (2020), Patriarchy and Capital is criminal alliance (2018) and un violador en tu camino (2019 - "a rapist in your path"), which denounces violence against women and people from the LGBTQIA + community, and was replicated in approximately 50 countries. She also has an extensive background and self-taught training in flamenco dance, in the last few years has explored sound design linked to performance and has started her dj project: espionaje. She has published several writings including Invocar a los espectros que guardamos en el cuerpo (Alma Negra Editorial, 2024), Feminist Structures. Polyphonic Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2023) and Posfacio: Performance Feminista: reflexiones desde el sur (OsoLiebre, 2021); and several collective writings alongside colectivo LASTESIS such as the books Polifonías Feministas (Random House, 2022), Antología Feminista (Debate, 2021) and Quemar el miedo (Planeta, 2021). The latter has been translated into Norwegian (Camino, 2024), English (Verso, 2023), Turkish (Otonom Yayincilik, 2023), Italian (Capovolte, 2022) and German (S. Fisher, 2021). LASTESIS was also featured in The 2020 TIME100, TIME's list of the world's most influential people.

Jenin Yaseen (she/her)

Jenin Yaseen is a Palestinian-American visual artist known for her powerful explorations of identity, memory, and cultural narratives through painting, installation, and multimedia art. Her work delves into themes of belonging and displacement, blending traditional techniques with innovative approaches to provoke introspection and dialogue on issues such as identity politics and cultural heritage. With exhibitions spanning prestigious galleries worldwide, Yaseen's art challenges viewers to reconsider their perspectives on the world. Beyond her artistic practice, Yaseen actively engages in community-based art initiatives, advocating for social change and amplifying diverse voices. Her unwavering dedication to exploring human experience and promoting social justice has established her as a prominent figure in contemporary art, inspiring audiences and demonstrating the transformative potential of artistic expression.

Emma Shapiro (she/her)

Emma Shapiro is an American artist, writer, and activist dedicated to advocating for artists and marginalized communities facing censorship online. As an artist, Emma has regularly encountered censorship both online and AFK due to her use of nudity in her work; the resulting hindrance to her professional practice, and witnessing the same happen to others, led her to become an outspoken voice against censorship of the female-presenting body and art online. In 2021, Emma became the Editor-At-Large for Don’t Delete Art (DDA), a collaborative project between artist/activists, the National Coalition Against Censorship's Arts & Advocacy Program, Freemuse, and PEN America's Artists At Risk Connection which provides resources, community, and advocacy for artists facing censorship online.Passionate about building community and sharing information, Emma founded the international art project and body equality movement Exposure Therapy, and is a regular contributor to arts publications such as Hyperallergic and The Art Newspaper on the topics of art censorship, digital rights, and feminist issues. She is an avid contributor to panels and events where the message of artists who struggle for visibility can be spread, and where communities can be linked to fight for our common interests. Emma has received multiple recognitions for her artistic and activist work, has exhibited internationally, and holds a degree from the Rhode Island School of Design.


This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations.


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