Art Right Are Human Rights by Kate Gilmore

“Human rights are under attack: freedoms taken for granted by those living in the world of relative privilege are undermined by governments intent on the pursuit of national security at the cost of human security,” states Gilmore in her article published in 2006 in The Drama Review. Her article discusses the constant fight for human rights through arts and its oppression.

Arts has always stand out throughout the history, especially in the periods of time when it was needed to speak out. Each period of time is marked with different struggles and any art form often comes from that. If people weren’t able to speak freely they would use art. However great pieces of art came from any dark period there often was the problem of censorship artists had to overcome. Gilmore points out the Amnesty International campaign for release of several artists that have been imprisoned simply because of their work. She highlights that “in law – Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – art is a human right, essential for, integral and equal to, all other human rights.”

Art is simply another form of speaking and proving a point of view. As well as being a weapon against injustice it could be also problematic. Art is such a powerful medium that it could be abused into hatred. We now live in the time where art is not being limited but how far can we go with it? Anyone can use art in any way but how can we say which is bad or wrong? We can’t limit a human right because it’s being misused into hateful opinions, can we?

Gilmore’s article is very interesting in a way that it points out all these aspects of art as a human right. It’s filled with adequate research and although it might have some eloquent vocabulary it’s well approachable to the reader. It’s important to read if you need to know some basic facts about art rights and censorship.

“Art has the right to be just what it is. It has a duty in doing so to sustain and support its companion rights.”


Gilmore, K. (2006) ‘Provocation’, Art Rights are Human Rights, 50(4), pp. 190-191. The MIT Press [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 4 December 2016)


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