The first project to come out of the non-profit organisation, Designers Against Human Rights Abuse – founded last year by Rishi Sodha – is a collection of art and design work that focuses on the Tibetan struggle…
The DAHRA organisation exists to raise awareness among those in the creative industries of their social, political and ethical responsibilities, as well as bring attention to different instances of human rights abuse around the world.
As such, Designers Against Tibetan Abuse, focuses specifically on the struggle for Tibetan rights and is a combination of a book, a limited edition Si Scott silkscreen poster and an exhibition at London’s Cork Street Gallery that is set to take place this summer.
52 creatives from around the world have all contributed pieces that take issue with the Tibetan human rights question. We spoke to Sodha about the reasoning behind the book.
CR: What you think a book like this can achieve simply by collecting and showing these art projects?
Rishi Sodha: In order to answer this question one has to understand the fundamental aims of DAHRA, which not only exists to promote awareness of human rights abuse, but to also raise awareness of ethical practice amongst creative professionals.
As such the Designers Against Tibetan Abuse is a project that combines a book featuring many of the most talented creatives in the industry today, a limited edition Si Scott poster and an exhibition in London, with all proceeds going to Tibet Relief Fund.
However, unlike many other organisations, we realise that a combination of these three mediums isn’t anywhere near enough in terms of raising awareness of such an important issue and so merely is a starting point. Therefore we are currently working on a film and second publication on the Tibetan issue to be launched alongside the exhibition this summer.
This is principally how DAHRA works, whereby we have two or three issues we wish to focus on and run projects on these topics for up to two years in order to ensure we make a real difference. These projects are a combination of closed (invitation only) projects such as the DATA book and projects open to all our members (anyone can join).
The most unique thing about DAHRA is that it is run by creatives for creatives and therefore we try to keep the briefs as open as possible, thus giving our members a break from the restrictions of client driven work. In fact we encourage our members to explore mediums and styles that they’ve never had a chance to work with before in order to express their voices.
It is this approach we feel that will hopefully ensure that we can meet our goals of raising awareness of human rights and promoting ethical practice amongst creatives.
CR: Are all the pieces in some way related to the Tibetan struggle? Can you highlight a few of the ways that the designers have dealt with the issue through their work?
RS: Firstly, I think it’s important to point out that DAHRA doesn’t support the discrimination of anyone and as such when we briefed our contributors we stressed the fact that this is not an attack on the Chinese but rather an opportunity to promote awareness of Tibetan Rights.
Having said that, the response was overwhelming and varied with some contributors choosing to focus on more subtle themes of love and spirit, such as Shame Mielke, Si Scott & Alex Trochit, whilst others focused on the more political aspect of the Tibetan issue, such as Jonathan Barnbrook and Nick Hard (Research Studios) and others chose to draw their inspiration from Tibetan Culture itself, such as Tokyo Plastic and Christopher Cox.
The full list of contributors to the book runs as follows:
Nik Ainely (Shinybinary), Anna Badar, Jonathan Barnbrook, Adhemas Batista, Bek 03, Luisa Bernardes, Diana Bodea, Bartek Bojarczuk, Jon Burgerman, Jonathan Calugi, Giovanni Capriotti, Christopher Cox (ChangetheThought), Nicholas Creevy, Sebastien Cuypers, Adam Dedman, Neil Duerden, Andy Ellison, Nima Falatoori (NMO design), Theo Gennitsakis, Alex Haigh (thinkdust), Christine Hale (Love,Christine), Nick Hard (Research Studios), David Harris, Sean Canty, Mike Harrison, Peter Harrison, Nessim Higson (IamAlwaysHungry), Piotr Holub, Eli Horn, Eric Jordan (2advanced.com), Evgeny Kiselev, Niklas Lundberg (diftype), Justin Maller (Depthcore), Chow Martin, Kevin Megens (Karma.tv), Shane Mielke (2advanced), Nathaniel Milburn, Saad Moosajee, Jared Nickerson (J3concepts), Joao Oliveira, Snehal Sanghani, Loic Sattler, Si Scott, Rishi Sodha, This is Pacifica, Bram Timmer, Tokyo Plastic, Alex Trochut, Ana Ventura, Ari Weinkle, Oliver Wiegner (Ice Cream For Free)
Read more more about DAHRA at dahra.org.
All photography: Nicholas Creevy.
You can purchase the book for £20 from enlightenedgifts.org. All proceeds go directly to the Tibet Relief Fund, who are also distributing the book.