Drawing for freedom | Den norske Helsingforskomité

The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre

The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre

The exhibition "The Big Draw – To draw is to See" at Akershus Art Centre finally opened last Saturday, with great success! Magnificent art work from the students of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHIO) reflecting the problem of political prisoners in Azerbaijan in the Drawing for Freedom project, alongside works of the well known and highly respected artist Filip Markiewicz are now on display at Akershus Art Centre. The exhibition lasts until 16.10.

Drawing for Freedom is a cooperation between  the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Academy of Fine Art of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. The Big Draw is an international annual drawing festival held every October all over the world. The aim of the festival is to explore and discuss the potential which lies within the art as platform for political expressions and activism.

The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
Rasul Jafarov and students at KHIO.

Former political prisoner and human rights defender from Azerbaijan Rasul Jafarov was present at the opening, and it was a touching moment when Jafarov met with the art students who had portrayed him while he was in prison. - When you are in prison, every initiative, big or small, which supports you or your cause, is important. In a situation where the government is trying to break your spirit, moral support from the outside plays a crucial role. It gives you the energy you need to keep up the struggle. This is why this art, and the work that that has been put into it is so important, said Jafarov when visiting the exhibition.

The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
Berit Lindeman

In her thank you speech, Berit Lindeman, Senior Adviser in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, thanked the students of KHIO for their dedication and good work. - I don't think the students really understands how much their work is appreciated by the political prisoners, either still in jail or released. It is extremely important for them, and I want to thank you all for your dedication, said Berit Lindeman.

 

 

 

About the project

The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
Rasul Jafarov, Rikke Komissar, Jeanette Christensen, Liv Tørres, Berit Lindeman, Anne Marit Austbø and Terje Nicholaisen.

The art project ”Drawing for Freedom” is a cooperation between the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and the Academy of Fine Art of the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. The driving force at KHIO is Professor Jeanette Christensen. The project was initialized by and is coordinated by former NHC employee Anne Marit Austbø.

The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
Jeanette Christensen and students at KHIO.

The thematic focus of the project is political prisoners in Azerbaijan. During the past two years there has been a massive crack-down on human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and other activists in Azerbaijan, and the country currently holds more than 80 political prisoners.

The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
Portraits of activists. Artist Anne Marit Austbø
The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
Cells unlocked.
The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
The biggest mistake of my life.
The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
We want democracy, not dictatorship. Suzannah Rehell Øistad.
The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
You cannot put a fire out.
The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
Three portraits.
The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
Leyla and Arif Yunus. Artist Suzannah Rehell Øistad
The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
Portraits. Artist Terje Nicolaisen, and others
The Big Draw - To Draw is to See at Akershus Art Centre
Audience at the opening.