• Press Release

Art for Amnesty Partners with AFROPUNK Music Festival

August 22, 2016

Art for Amnesty, an Amnesty International USA program using the power of art, music, and culture to support human rights and inspire people to act, is partnering with AFROPUNK Festival. Amnesty will showcase original artwork at the music festival to bring attention to human rights abuses happening all over the world as well as bring activists on site to discuss human rights with attendees.

Held annually in Brooklyn since 2005 and drawing tens of thousands attendees, AFROPUNK is a two-day festival of multicultural music and arts. This year’s AFROPUNK features artists Ice Cube, Janelle Monae, Thundercat, Tyler the Creator, TV on the Radio, Flying Lotus and many more. It will take place Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28.

“Art is a compelling and immediate way to inspire creative activism. Simply put, art brings people together. That’s why teaming with AFROPUNK is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of human rights issues,” said Margaret Huang, interim executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Through art, we can share the stories of the people behind the statistics, to ensure that their struggles to claim their rights, as well as the abuses they have experienced, are brought to the heart of public consciousness. We’re delighted to have found a valuable partner in AFROPUNK, whose music festival highlights the important work done by artists of color across the world.”

“Art for Amnesty celebrates artistic expression that connects people everywhere who take injustice personally. Art can be a catalyst for change. More than ever before, we need creative ways to acknowledge these human stories, to stand with human rights defenders the world over to tell the world the truth. Together with AFROPUNK, we are harnessing the storytelling power of the arts to reach new audiences and inspire activism around global human rights issues,” said Marvin Bing, Art for Amnesty Creative Director.    

In addition to the various performances, AFROPUNK will provide grounds to a vibrant community of well over 100 craft artisans and 25 food vendors. Attendees will also be able to view original artwork and murals created in conjunction with the Art for Amnesty (Amnesty International USA) and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA). By providing an avenue for the community's voice to be heard and celebrated, the festival aims to unleash freedom of expression while honoring the power of individuality.

Amnesty activists will be on site to talk to attendees about the NY Humane Alternatives to Long Term Solitary Confinement (HALT) Act. The HALT Act, or New York Senate Bill S2659, which Amnesty supports, creates alternative to isolated confinement for prisoners. Likewise, Amnesty activists will discuss the use of lethal force by police in the United States, calling on the U.S. government to meet international law enforcement standards on the use of lethal force. Activists will also talk to attendees about AIUSA’s The America I Believe In campaign, which calls on the United States to reject fearmongering and lead with human rights.

“AFROPUNK is committed to encouraging our diverse audience of young people to take action and make an impact in their communities. Our unique partnership with Amnesty International USA allows us to guide and cultivate social change agents and connect our AFROPUNK Army volunteer corps to a human rights organization doing the crucial work to help right society's wrong,” said Manushka Magloire, AFROPUNK Director of Community Affairs.

AFROPUNK was founded in 2002 with the focus on giving a voice to thousands of multicultural kids considered outsiders in their communities. Described by the New York Times as putting “rock and rebellion squarely in the category of African-American music,” AFROPUNK holds festivals in Brooklyn, Paris, and Atlanta. Over the past twelve years, the festival has presented new artists before they hit it big, such as Grammy-nominated Santigold and Janelle Monae, as well as mainstays such as Grace Jones, Bad Brains, D'Angelo, Lenny Kravitz, Saul Williams, and TV on the Radio.