Raising awareness of human rights through the Arts

Monday, 10 February 2014

HRAF 2014

The Oxford festival dedicated to raising awareness of human rights returns to the city for its 12th year this month (Monday 24 – Friday 28 February 2014).

This year the programme of events is titled the Oxford Human Rights Arts Festival and will be broadening its impact by offering a range of events outside its traditional film medium.   

Alongside film screenings, the festival is hosting live performances of music, theatre, poetry and a range of guest speakers.

Events will take place in venues across Oxford, including the Old Fire Station and Ultimate Picture Palace, and all are open to the public.  Each will be accompanied by a discussion with guest speakers, providing the opportunity for in-depth, stimulating debate. 

The Oxford Human Rights Arts Festival is organised by Oxford Brookes students on the Development and Emergency Practice (DEP) master’s degree course.  It aims to raise awareness of the issues surrounding human rights through the arts. 

Martin Dolan, a current DEP student involved in organising the festival, said: “The Oxford Human Rights Arts Festival gives us the opportunity to highlight these issues to a wider audience, in a moving and entertaining way. 

“We have such a diverse range of events, from films to poetry and theatre, so this year is sure to be the best festival yet.” 

A screening of Julian Schnabel’s film Miral marks the opening of the festival, and is being screened in Oxford Brookes’ new John Henry Brookes Building’s Lecture Theatre.  Other highlights include Like Enemies of the State, a play based on the stories of three African child soldiers, and a screening of The Reluctant Revolutionary which will be introduced by the filmmaker. 

A range of poetry readings has been arranged in conjunction with the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.  These will involve readings and debate with poets and experts, and take place at Blackwell’s on Broad Street and the Truck Store on Cowley Road. 

The festival will be ‘played out’ by folk music from Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year nominee Lucy Ward, with support from local acoustic band Moonrakers

Some events are free of charge while others attract a nominal entrance fee.  Tickets for all events are now available to be reserved and purchased online.   

More information about the festival, ticketing and the full programme of events can be found on the festival’s website: www.oxfordhumanrightsfestival.org