Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dialogue Amongue Civilizations

Check out the video of William Kelly and Joel Deane speaking about Art for Humanity's DAC project:



  1. William Kelly is an American artist, humanist and human-rights advocate. He was born in Buffalo, New York and received his artistic training at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and the National Gallery School in Melbourne, Victoria (Australia). He is also a Fulbright Fellow and former Dean (1975-1982) of the Victorian College of the Arts[1] in Australia. He has delivered guest lectures at Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The New York Studio School and others in Europe, South Africa, North America, Eastern Europe, Australasia and has had his work reproduced in publications worldwide as well as being represented in over 40 public and corporate collections.
    In addition to creating traditional prints, drawings and paintings, Kelly has organized and participated in collaborations in public art and theatre. Kelly promotes his humanist ideals in his art, for example; in response to a 1987 mass murder in Melbourne, Kelly spent five years on works for an installation titled "The Peace Project." "The Peace Project" was first exhibited in 1993 in both Melbourne and Boston, Massachusetts. It was the first visual art project to receive the Australian Violence Prevention Award. His work has been exhibited in over 20 countries with a current installation in Guernica, Spain and current traveling group exhibitions throughout Europe and also South Africa (representing Australia in the Dialogue Among Civilizations International Print Portfolio organized to coincide with the cultural activities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup).
    Kelly authored an anthology, Violence to Nonviolence: Individual Perspectives, Communal Voices[2], that was published in 1994. His artwork has also appeared in other books, such as Cultures of Crime and Violence: The Australian Experience[3] and "Women's Encounters with Violence[4].
    In 2000 Kelly founded the Archive of Humanist Art, which highlights prints and drawings of artists from all over the world that address humanist concerns. Kelly is acknowledged for the contribution his work makes to the areas of human rights, social justice and reconciliation both nationally and internationally – with projects linked to the Basque Country, Spain; Robben Island, site of the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela; the Republic of Georgia and Northern Ireland.
    He currently has studios in Melbourne and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and lives and works in Nathalia in regional Victoria.


  2. Biography

    Deane, born in Melbourne, Australia, lived in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1990s, working as a technology journalist. He has also worked as a press secretary and speechwriter for the Australian Labor Party.
    Deane's first novel, Another, was considered a “striking debut” by Melbourne Weekly and "reminiscent of Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet" by Australian Book Review. His first collection of poetry, Subterranean Radio Songs, was short-listed for the 2006 Anne Elder Award, and has been called "brilliantly energetic" and "virtuosic" by Australian Book Review.
    In 2010, Deane published The Norseman's Song to critical acclaim. Described by its publisher as "a stylish blend of gothic mystery and modern crime noir", the book balances two very different narratives, that of a C19th whaler trapped in the Arctic circle alongside a contemporary Melbourne cab driver's night from hell. Peter Pierce, in the Sydney Morning Herald called it "a bold unfolding of a succession of nightmares, issuing from probable truths and from feverish imaginings, a striking juxtaposition of legendary past and seedy present", noting that "Deane belongs to a long line of yarn-spinners in Australian fiction from Henry Lawson to Frank Hardy to Peter Carey".


    Dialogue among Civilizations: Exhibition & print portfolio

    Catalyzing ‘The Good of the Commons’: Dialogue in theory

    By Vedant Nanackchand (Head of the Department of Visual Art. Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, University of Johannesburg)

    Art for Humanity’s current project, ‘Dialogue among Civilizations,’ is global in nature but also represents a recurrent and pertinent theme relevant to Africa. This project emerged as a response to the global debate on conflicts based on intolerance, prejudice, racism, xenophobia, HIV/AIDS and the crime of poverty among other human rights violations. The Dialogue project is premised on the critical need to develop communication and a human rights consciousness in Africa as well as internationally. AFH has grown in importance as an organization that uses printmaking primarily, as a medium to confront viewers in both intimate and public venues in order to engage them with pertinent human rights themes affecting society. AFH is a registered, independent, non-profit organization whose specific mission is to use a visual art and print-based media for social confrontation and public engagement. The organization has pursued a distinct agenda of focussing pragmatically on human rights education through visual methodologies, both locally and abroad. In keeping with the ethos of its previous endeavours i.e., the ‘UDHR International Print Portfolio, Break the Silence! The HIV/AIDS Billboard & Print Portfolio as well as Women Artists & Poets advocate Children’s Rights,’ the ‘Dialogue among Civilizations’ project acts as mediator of social change and continues to succeed in raising the level of human rights consciousness by advocating for change through visual means. As the work of the participating artists and poets attest, the diversity of the responses is inspiring in the manner in which the methodology of creative collaboration can challenge our perceptions about human rights and contribute towards an ethos of criticality.

    William Cleveland pertinently refers to the celebratory, the aspirational and the vulnerable, as human rights attributes which the Dialogue project exemplifies and draws attention to. In order to understand this, it is helpful to refer to the theoretical position which underscores the project. This project presents a format for international voices responding to notions of ethics, morality and social justice. Among the range of human development and cultural theorists whose work echoes the philosophy of AFH, Arjun Appadurai’s concept of the ‘right to aspire’, Amartya Sen’s notion of the role of ‘culture as a catalyst for social change’ and Mamphela Ramphele’s assertion about the value of citizenship, are particularly noteworthy. ....