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Art in Protest is HRF’s response to the authoritarian repression of creative dissent.

Art is a powerful tool for dissent in closed societies, provoking constructive dialogue and creating space for debate beyond mainstream bodies of political discourse. Authoritarian governments around the world recognize the power of art as a conduit of change, and systematically persecute, repress, or censor artists to silence political dissent.

Art in Protest seeks to elevate artists whose work is connected to their struggle for democracy and human rights. We offer dissident artists the opportunity to enhance their work through the Art in Protest Residency, and provide various platforms and exhibition spaces to expand their reach. Art in Protest also brings art to HRF’s Oslo Freedom Forum conference series to raise awareness about the state of artistic freedom on a global scale.


Our Work

Art in Protest Residency

The Art in Protest Residency encourages dissident artists to find new, innovative ways of producing art that ignites democratic change and promotes free expression. Artists-in-residence spend six months developing a project that applies art and technology for social and civic impact. The Art in Protest Residency is held in San Francisco in partnership with the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts.

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Digital Gallery

Digital galleries provide a platform for dissident artists to showcase and sell their work, and reach diverse audiences.

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Since its formation, Art in Protest has hosted exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oslo, showcasing artists from North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Afghanistan, and China, connecting the art world, human rights activists, and industry leaders.

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Our Strategy

Art in Protest enhances the work of dissident artists by providing mentorship, artistic training sessions, exhibition spaces, and a global platform to showcase their art.


We connect dissident artists with experts in the cultural sector and offer skills-building mentorship programs to help dissident artists enhance their work and activism.


We expand the reach of dissident artists by showcasing their work to diverse international audiences through online galleries and in-person exhibitions.

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Take Action

Visit the Art in Protest Digital Gallery to view and purchase original artworks and prints by dissident artists

Donate to support dissident artists who use their art to make a lasting impact in the global struggle against authoritarianism

Follow Art in Protest on Instagram 

Follow Art in Protest on Facebook

For inquiries, please e-mail [email protected]