Right now, there are massive ongoing At least 140 people are currently detained or imprisoned for political reasons; among these are political figures, youth activists, human rights defenders, and journalists. The rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, as well as property rights, have been significantly restricted. Independent civil society organisations are working to improve the situation, but to have a bigger impact, we need to collaborate in more effective, creative ways.
restrictions of human rights taking place in Azerbaijan.
We believe that art is the key.
Art challenges perceptions, mobilises communities and changes societies.
Art circumvents traditional forms of censorship, and can be an effective means of fighting repression.
Art can serve as a powerful tool to bring about democratic change.
Art for Democracy seeks to unite artists, civil society representatives, and journalists, working together to use all forms of artistic expression to promote respect for human rights and democratic reform in Azerbaijan.
Art provides an accessible way for people of any age, gender or background to engage with these issues and start making positive changes in the country. That is why we believe Art for Democracy has enormous potential to change the situation for the better in Azerbaijan.
So how can you help?
We need to develop a unique and creative Art for Democracy website that will serve as an interactive hub for Azerbaijan's youth, a place for alternative artists to share their work, and a vital portal to exchange information about human rights developments in the country.
The homepage will land users into an immersive patchwork of art, learning and discussion topics that explore the key issues surrounding social justice and democratic reform.
The site will be an interactive platform for art exploring the key issues related to human rights and democratic reform in Azerbaijan, where regardless of their level of understanding, people can discover art, read and learn more about a topic, discuss issues with others in the community, and raise awareness via social networks.
This website will make a huge difference to the impact of our campaign activities, and we are committed to maintaining it for many years to come.
Visitors can discover music, film, photography, illustrations and other forms of art, engaging with issues related to human rights and democratic reform in Azerbaijan in an exciting, stimulating, and accessible way.
Whether they like film, music, comics or poetry users can find art that engages them with the key issues in an accessible way.
Exploring the issues
Each artwork takes users on a journey through the issues, suggesting more in-depth reading on the topic.
Users can dig deeper into the issues, reading white papers, thought pieces and articles.
Users are then invited to have their say on the issues by anonymously contributing to discussion topics.
Users can get involved with the community, engaging in discussion topics in an anonymous, safe way,
The website will have a mobile version, making the site accessible on a range of devices.
Who we are
Art for Democracy is a coalition comprised of civil society activists, journalists and artists.While the coalition draws on contributions from 3 NGOs and around 30 members, at the heart of the organisation is Rasul Jafrov, an award winning activist and chairman of the Baku-based Human Rights Club.
Set of five limited edition postcards featuring exclusive artwork from alternative Azerbaijani artists
MP3 download of an exclusive compilation of music from alternative Azerbaijani artists
Limited edition tshirt in a range of sizes
In addition to some complex functionality such as multimedia content, filtering systems and social media integration, key aspects of the site that have added to development costs include -
- Bespoke dynamic templates and user interface designed to channel engagement with the art into further reading and discussion
- Anonymous discussion system with up/down voting, allowing users to contribute safely and confidently and the community to moderate content democratically
- Bilingual functionality, allowing for both an English and an Azerbaijani full version of the site
- A full mobile version of the site, allowing users to access an entirely new experience through a mobile or tablet device
- A bespoke content management system that allows the Art For Democracy team to update and maintain the site
Risks and challenges
As we are working with an experienced digital agency, we do not feel that we will encounter any major problems in developing and launching the website should we secure our funding target. However, as with any project, we do face risks and challenges.
Human rights work in Azerbaijan is inherently risky. The Human Rights Club is aware of these risks and has contingency plans in place. In the event that the Human Rights Club becomes unable to maintain this site due to unforeseen circumstances, we will work to identify a new host within our network of local and international partner organisations.
With authorities attempting to clamp down on critical voices, hacking also poses a potential threat to the website. While we can do little to stop DDOS attacks, we are hosting the site on a secure server with a number of security measures, such as mirroring the site in two other data centres, that will help reduce the impact attackers can have.