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Art, because it illuminates imagination, it's a magic wand, it's a power.





It's the things which emotionally get to you which change you, and where photography really has an enormous effect.





I was in the forest after wildfire. I see this scar. And this is of course a symbol of what humankind are, what we're doing to the wilderness. I just felt in my whole body I have to do something.



My work is so personal because I want to give people a deeper understanding of what it feels like to be a person on the run. 





Art has always been changing the world. When you strip race away, we're talking about a mother losing her son for no reason.  


That makes it a connecting point where people can understand it on a deeper level.



Women in many countries still don't have the rights that, it’s not equal rights, and we wanted to give voice to young migrant women. 





It's not one of those situations where you know that everything is going to be fine. We are the people and we have to make this world better. And it's us.



By being able to touch people we can really, as artists, instigate that change, instigate that motivation, to start to maybe find your own power. 



(New York) – A group of contemporary artists whose works grapple with the challenges of our time announced an auction today to benefit Human Rights Watch.

The auction, 20 21 Artists in Support of Human Rights Watch was curated by WILLAS contemporary and will be hosted by the online platform Artsy. It features 41 works of photography, textile, sculpture, and other mediums that tell the story of the past through the eyes of 41 established and emerging artists. It will run online from March 4-18, 2021.

Graphic showing masked figure in an art piece with the Human Rights Watch logo and reading Art + Activism.

Hosted by Artsy, with curation led by Willas contemporary, this auction brings together a global, diverse group of artists to reflect on a year like no other. Bidding will take place from March 4th – 18th and funds raised will go towards Human Rights Watch’s work defending fundamental rights and freedoms around the world.


Art has the power to illuminate the world in novel and insightful ways,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “These artists connect us to the world in compelling new ways by spotlighting inspiring human stories of survival, resilience and kindness.”

Among the 41 artists donating works to the auction are James Nachtwey, Nick Brandt, Jeff Cowen, Helene Schmitz, Cooper & Gorfer, and Romina Ressia. Starting bids will range from USD$300 to $110,000. Artists will receive their full commission, which they can choose to donate back to Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch said that while the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the surface deep inequalities in our societies, it has also shone a light on our global connectedness and shared responsibility for one another. The auction is intended to mark this moment by inviting renowned and established artists to nominate new and emerging artists to participate.

The Artsy auction is the second of what Human Rights Watch hopes will be many collaborations with artists around the world. The organization’s growing Art & Activism initiative in 2020 featured a collaboration with world-renowned Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, who created face masks imprinted with his works of art. It was one of eBay’s most successful art auctions in its history, eBay said.

“We expect this auction to be only the beginning of Human Rights Watch’s effort to enlist art to give us a language to understand, and address, some of the world’s greatest current challenges,” Roth said.

For more information on the auction, please visit:

To learn more about Human Rights Watch’s Art + Activism project, please visit:

This auction was made possible through special contributions by:

Alina Acari, Göteborg, Sweden
Siri Stolt-Nielsen, Norway

Benjamin Jaeger Art Advisory, Berlin, Germany
Ceval Omar, Oslo, Norway
CP Art Advisory ltd, London, UK
Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, USA
Joan Blackman, Miami, USA
Flowers Gallery, London, UK
Pauline Benthede and Johan Vikner, Fotografiska, Stockholm 
WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa
Formuesforvaltning, Oslo, Norway
Michelle Loukidis, The Lens Collective, Johannesburg, SA
Ravenstijn Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Larsen Warner Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden
Nabiha Khan-Giordano, Weinberg/Newton Gallery, Chicago, USA Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway
Kirsti Svenning, Oslo Norway 
Henrik Holm, Oslo Norway


Alexandria Eregbu
Anahid Ghorbani
Anja Niemi
Annie Johansson
Anton Corbijn
Arno Rafael Minkkinen
Axel Ahlsén
Bongiwe Phakathi
Carlos Betancourt
Christian Houge
Cooper & Gorfer
Helene Schmitz
Jacob Felländer
Jacqueline Landvik
James Nachtwey
Jan C Schlegel
Jeff Cowen
Jeffrey James
Jon Henry
Jorge Mañes Rubio
Julia Fullerton-Batten
Kim Schwanhäußer
Kjell Torriset
Lene Marie Fossen
Mandy Barker
Margo Trushina
Matthias Olmeta
Mohau Modisakeng
Nadav Kander
Nick Brandt
Olaf Heine
Richard Mosse
Romina Ressia
Scarlett Hooft Graafland
Shwan Dler Qaradaki
Steinar Christensen
Steve Schapiro
Theophilus Donoghue
Tiina Itkonen
Vee Speers

Your tax deductible gift can help stop human rights violations and save lives around the world.