Envisioning Human Rights: The Next Generation at BAM/PFA

UC student artists explore human rights and social justice

Berkeley, CA-April 15 — Provocative work from fourteen student artists will be showcased at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) in Envisioning Human Rights: The Next Generation, opening on April 23, 2014. Media are invited to preview the works and meet the artists at an opening reception on Tuesday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m. 

The show, which explores violence, exploitation, and resilience through paintings, photographs, and prints, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Human Rights Center at the UC Berkeley School of Law. The artists come from four University of California campuses and were selected from a competitive pool in a statewide call for submissions. 

“Throughout history artists have responded to conditions and circumstances of their own time, place, and memory,” said Lucinda Barnes, chief curator and director of programs and collections for BAM/PFA, who is co-curating the show with artist Pamela Blotner. “At BAM/PFA we believe works of art and film can offer profound aesthetic and intellectual experiences, and that these experiences and social exchanges can change our perspective and worldview.”

“Artists play an invaluable role in guiding us through the untenable and unconscionable areas of human suffering, violence, and atrocity—and in motivating us to act,” said Blotner.  

In conjunction with the exhibition, BAM/PFA will present a selection of works by world-renowned artist Fernando Botero from his Abu Ghraib series. Botero donated the artworks to BAM/PFA in recognition of Berkeley’s historic role in advancing human rights. 

A related show at Berkeley Law called Envisioning Human Rights will open in July. The exhibit will feature work from world-class photographers such as Gilles Peress, Susan Meiselas, Sebastião Salgado, and Berkeley’s own Ken Light.

“These exhibitions powerfully represent the Human Rights Center’s longstanding commitment to cultivate the next generation of human rights advocates, shed light on the conditions of people more vulnerable than ourselves, and effectuate change,” said Alexa Koenig, executive director of the Human Rights Center. “I hope students and other community members will visit these shows and join us in celebrating the Human Rights Center’s first 20 years on the Berkeley campus.” 

For more information about the exhibition or to interview the curators, artists, or Human Rights Center staff, call Andrea Lampros, communications manager, Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley School of Law, at 510.643.7215, or 510.847.4469; contact her by email at alampros@berkeley.edu.

High-resolution photographs available upon request.