Inspiring examples of artivism

Hanna Pishchyk, Elena Petrovska, Palina Burko


What – ArtKontakt from Tirana held interesting workshops on street art and how the walls of the city can be a way to voice dissent towards the highly corrupted political class. The trainer delivering the workshop is a professional street artist.
Where – Tirana, Albania
Who – NGO ArtKontakt
Why – To promote contemporary art in its multidisciplinary forms and techniques
Impact -improving and furthering the field of art management in Albania
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Culture of Humiliation

What – ‘Culture of Humiliation’ art exhibition 

Where – Tirana, Albania

Who – artist Antonij Karadzoski + many others

Why – it seeks to raise awareness on bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity How – online campaigns and exhibitions, accompanied by interactive workshops. This project consisted of two parts: online campaigns and exhibitions, accompanied by interactive workshops. The main goal of the project was to raise awareness about the causes and consequences of violence online and offline based on the grounds of sexuality or gender expression. The exhibited art works were done by young artists that use art to share their own experiences with violence and discrimination. 

Impact – Addressing issues surrounding human rights, LGBT+ rights and gender equality

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Gunduz Agayev

What: Satirical illustrations;

Where: Azerbaijan;

Who: Gunduz Agayev, artist;

Why: Through his works the artist tries to draw public’s attention to the range of social and political issues like migration, wars, mass surveillance or crowd manipulation. He also aims at making people see all these issues from a different perspective by showing their dual nature. The artist uses art to reflect on the problems that both his country’s and other countries’ communities face nowadays.

How: Publishing series of illustrations, mostly online;

Impact: A lot of Aghayev’s illustrations drew international attention and have been shared by users on the social media. Some of his works including Femidead and Peace and War have been featured in world media outlets.



“Red Heracleum”

What – art-feminist musical group

Where – Minsk, Belarus

Who – participants of “queer art-workshops”: Janis Saar and others.

Why – lack of the “right to emotions” in the society, social stereotypes about “correct” gender behavior

Output – series of performances “without a place”, “know your place” – about harassment and violence.

Belarusian queer-calendar “365 days of your history”

What – first belarusian queer calendar

Where – Belarus

Who – LGBT+ people and “Дело Пи_” (Delo pi) project

Why – The calendar appeared as part of a public campaign against homophobic and transphobic crimes. It was also created in order to synchronize the personal and the public, mark important dates, while at the same time giving space for marking personal notes.

Impact – The queer calendar allowed to create a universal platform and reach a wide audience through art therapy for LGBT+people.


Belarus Free Theatre

What – Belarus Free Theatre is an award-winning independent company, committed to producing, educating and campaigning in the related fields of the arts, internationalism and social justice

Where – Minsk, Belarus; London, United Kingdom

Why – large art-campaign for human rights and basic artistic freedom

Impact – It is the only Belarusian art project that has also become popular abroad. It covers many problems of the Belarusian society. By making social problems visible on the stage they have a chance to talk with the people. Many separate projects were also created at the theater.


Tea with raspberry jam (Чай з малинавым варэннем)

What – a big channel on several media platforms (Telegram, Facebook, VK, Twitter) which reflects on news in ironic way with visual collages (memes)

Where – Belarus

Why – to show Belarusian political and social reality in a funny way (like “Yes, we live here, but we`re still happy”)

How – by making memes using news about Belarus

Impact – makes people become more interested in political and social situation of the country



What – a non-governmental human rights organization, created in 1996 during mass protest actions of the democratic opposition in Belarus

Where – Belarus

Who – belarusian and foreign human rights defenders and lawyers, civil society activists (about 200 members around the country)

Why – to contribute to development of the civic society in Belarus, based on respect to human rights, described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus

Impact – The largest human rights organization in Belarus. It has conducted and is conducting many actions; it has also organized a school about human rights for young people.

Outputs: campaign “Say “No” to the death penalty in Belarus” (; #FLOWERPOWER: alternative postcards for March, 8 (


Alesya Zhitkevich, artist

What – works that explore the relationship between sexuality and politics through a variety of media

Where – Minsk, Belarus

Why – to show the absurdity of the relationship between personal and political in belarusian reality

How – graphic works, works on plastic, installation and video

Impact – audience’s understanding of meanings, reflection on the current situation in Belarus


“New Olympia” by photographer  Siarhei Hudzilin

What – a project about how political, cultural and social contexts affect the body. The photographer explores Minsk parades, studying the expressiveness of the participants’ bodies as ideologems consisting in the “ornament of the masses”`

Where – Zhodzina, Belarus

Why – illustration of trends in parades creating in Belarus and people’s role in it 

How – photography, exhibitions

Impact – a look at the ideology and culture of Belarus from an unusual angle



Bosnia dam mural

What – Mural over the river dam

Where – dam on the river Bascica in the village Idbar near Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Who – the mural was painted by Croatian artist Luka Tomac and supported by the Coalition for the Protection of Rivers

Why – huge mural was painted on a ruined dam in protest over the planned construction of 300 hydroelectric dams across the country

How – mural, graffiti

Impact – drawing public’s attention to the massive destruction that rivers were (and still are) facing; raising awareness on the negative effect of building Hydroelectric Power Plants.



BEAT project

What – video/social experiment

Where – Bulgaria

Who – FineActs

Why – Beat explores the ominous silence surrounding domestic violence. The video is a prompt to societies that react to any loud noise, as long as it is not caused by a domestic dispute or abuse. How much time would it take your neighbours to knock on your door and ask to put down your music? Why no one reacts to the domestic violence then?!

How – non-staged video

Impact – exploring and exposing domestic violence, representing the depth of this issue

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#FreeToProtest #LivreParaProtestar

What – art campaign

Where – Sao Paulo, Brazil


Why – campaign for the right to protest and the importance of not having government intervention during protests

How – video, banners spread around the city, a movie and a series of theatre performances in public spaces

Impact – fight for human rights, including rights of the protestors

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Front Page


Art Festival for Women

What – annual festival 

Where – Cyprus

Who – organisation “Artivist”

Why – aimed to increase the visibility of women through exhibitions of their art in public spaces while also highlighting human rights violations and women’s rights

How – performance art, theatre, dance, photography, painting, film and video art

Impact – the area around the workshop, in Uray Sokak – has become an activist art hub in recent years, with alternative shops and markets, graffiti art projects, music events and the annual Yucca Blend Festival

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Thamara Bryson and Dalia Ferrera

What – initiative

Where – France

Who – Venezuelan exile online journalist Thamara Bryson and artist Dalia Ferrera

How – Dalia Ferrera uses contemporary pop photography on canvas to express displacements, urban mutations and the coexistence between people and cities as Thamara’s channel of activism is mainly radio

Impact – working alongside with local people on radio shows, podcasts, etc

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‘Protest on Behalf of the Invisible & Against Invisibility’

What – an ‘invisible’ protest

Where – Tbilisi, Georgia in 2014

Who – LGBT+ activists

Why – year before the action took place, LGBT+ activists were brutally and openly beaten up near to death for protesting for their rights – thus, the ‘invisible’ protest took place next year

How – performance, putting shoes in the Freedom Square in front of the city council in sign of a protest

Impact – raising awareness on violence that LGBT+ community in Georgia is facing

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Lia Ukleba

What – feminist artivist

Where – Georgia

Who – Lia Ukleba

Why – talking about social issues that are seen controversial in Georgia

How – paintings

Impact – illustrating problems women are facing in Georgia

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Political Stencil

What: Street stencil graffiti

Where: Greece

Who: “Political Stencil”, an activist group composed of Greek artists, that has been doing small and big works in several areas of Athens mainly against police violence, racism, homophobia and other cruel actions. 

Why: Using art as a political action in Greece with an aim to fight fascist, sexist and racist views as well as stand against any form of state repression.

How: Stencil graffiti is a form of graffiti that makes use of stencils made out of paper, cardboard, or other media to create an image or text that is easily reproducible. The desired design is cut out of the selected medium and then the image is transferred to a surface through the use of spray paint or roll-on paint.

Impact: The stencil graffitis have been raising public’s awareness of political and social challenges that Greece faces nowadays as well as giving an insight into the lived experience endured by certain groups of the Greek population.



Galassia Nera

What: Interactive map

Where: Italy

Who:”Galassia Nera” project (Black Galaxy)

Why: With a rapid spread of fascism and far-right ideology on social networks, the map serves as a guide to show Italian far right’s pages on Facebook and give basic information about them e.g. how many followers they have and other related facts.

How: The map includes more than 15000 pages with more than 2000 Facebook pages of Italian right-wing extremism. In the map each page is represented by a circle; by clicking on a circle you can access a dashboard with short information about the page.

Impact: This map is experimental project, which still undergoes different changes and updates and hasn’t gained much attention yet. It may, however, serve as a demonstrative online guideline on the  issue.

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What – art collective

Where – Kosovo, Prishtina

Who – sisters Alketa and Lola Sylaj, and Vesa and Hana Qena

How – Their first launching performance came as a reaction to the murder of a woman killed by her ex-husband despite having requested police protection as she feared for her life. The murder triggered women’s rights organizations to organize multiple protests and also sparked Have-it into action and come to life. The performance that was staged in the main square of Prishtina and broadcasted live on Facebook by several women rights NGOs, aimed to send a message of disgust at how little the state does to protect women and turned out to be a massive success. Since then their performances also set the mindset and attitude for the majority of their future artistic activism, which consists largely of street art performances protesting against the oppression of women, discrimination of LGBT+ people, patriarchal dominance, gender stereotypes and even water shortages

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What: Annual short film program “Disability not a barrier” 

Where: Lithuania

Who: Lithuanian Union of Persons with Disabilities, in collaboration with the students of Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater.

Why: Short film program is intended to draw public attention to the stereotypes associated with disabilities as well as raise awareness about issues connected with the rights of disabled people.

How: Every year the project gathers in one place young filmmakers and people with disabilities for them to learn about each other and, eventually, create a range of short films that are later displayed in some of the cinemas and at different cultural events in Lithuania.

Impact: The created films and documentaries have been an educational platform for Lithuanians to get acquainted with inclusive cinema as well as learn more about the lives of people with disabilities.


North Macedonia

Bach in a landfill

”the concert was broadcast live and it was quite shocking to see the paradox between the serenity of Brahms music played by professionals in masks and the destruction of the landscape around”

What – classical music performance

Where – Tetovo, North Macedonia

Who – EcoGuerilla

Why – two musicians decided to play in a illegal landfill that is at the entrance of the city, to protest the one of the most polluted areas in Europe

How – two cellists symbolically performed ‘Air Suite’ by Bach wearing masks

Impact – video of the performance was spread out on social media, raising awareness on the issue of the pollution

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UFO sculpture

What – sculpture in a public space

Where – Poland

Who – artist Remigiusz Bąk

Why – as Remigiusz Bąk said: ”it is preposterous that the authorities are spending big amounts of money on useless and ugly installations that no one wants, while citizens need to ask nicely to make some changes in their space”, when the sculpture was placed, after some time it got the local authorities’ attention which told the artist to immediately take it off because he did not have the permission to take the public space – after a very long time, the sculpture was returned to it’s original place.

How – sculpture made out of electronic waste

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“Feminists explain”

What – a youtube-channel about current issues of women in Russia and around the world

Where – Russia

Who – feminists from Russia

Why – to show what is lacking to achieve equality in Russia and what problems need to be solved in order to get closer to a fair society

How – recorded topical discussions for YouTube channel

Impact – around 1 000 000 views on Youtube


The party of the dead

What: Art performances, organizing/ taking part in protests

Where: Russia

Who: “The party of the dead” is a group of Russian activists using creative forms of expression to take a sarcastic approach to Russian politics.

Why: The party of the dead is a response to attempts of the authorities to speak on behalf of the dead, for example, when signatures of people who have passed away appear under collective letters or in ballot papers. The project is also based on the belief that the politics in Russia is dead.

How: During their performances and while participating in protests, the activists use skull masks and skull face painting. The activists also may be seen holding posters with the motto of “the party”: The dead don’t fight.

Impact: Even though “the party” doesn’t adhere to a certain political ideology and they don’t have media channels to spread their message, yet it has been attracting the public’s attention with its authentic and out-of-box approach to activism, connecting ethics and politics and spreading its message by the variety of creative tools. It has more than 2500 followers on VK and almost 900 likes on the Facebook.



440 pairs of women’s shoes

What: 440 pairs of shoes, placed on two art installation walls

Where: Istanbul, Turkey

Who: Vahit Tuna, an artist

Why: To raise awareness on women killed by domestic violence in Turkey. As for the installation itself, the idea for it was born out of an artist’s understanding that even though news about victims of domestic violence regularly appears in the media, they quickly become forgotten. Meanwhile, Tuna wanted to create a permanent reminder of this problem.

How: The display stretches over 260 square meters on two art installation walls in Istanbul’s Kabataş neighborhood. Each pair of shoes stands for a Turkish woman who was murdered by her partner in 2018.

Impact: The installation has gained a lot of attention both offline, because of it is located in a busy district of Istanbul, which is passed by thousands every day, and online due to the fact that hundreds of media outlets covering it around the world.

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Juxtaposed images of Ugur Gallenkus

What: Juxtaposed images

Where: Turkey

Who: Ugur Gallenkus, an artist

Why: To show a stark contrast between two different parts of the world and lives of their citizens, where Western countries are contrasted with the countries of the Global South.

How: The artist creates digital collages where he combines photos with similar compositions, but completely different realities. In one half of an image, there is a peaceful reality from a Western world, in another a disturbing reality from the Global South countries.

Impact: The artists works have attracted the interest of many users on the social networks, where Gallenkus publishes his works. Many have praised the artist for raising awareness about a terrifying reality that millions of people live in.



Serhiy Zakharov (artist)

What – anti-war and anti-occupation government drawings, graffiti

Where – Donetsk, Ukraine

Why – war in Eastern Ukraine

How – by posting photos of drawings and graffiti created all around the city in a community on a social network

Impact – anti-war and anti-occupation propaganda


“The revenge of the junk”

What – video as a part of campaign “CleanMyCity” (anti-littering project)

Where – Ukraine

Who – IT-company CleanMyMac

Why – to raise awareness about littering in cities

How – by nonviolently scaring people who litter on the streets and making a short video about it

Impact – drawing people’s attention in a funny way to the problem of littering