The effective exercise of minority rights is intimately linked with visions and understanding of history in the present. Minority inclusion is frequently driven by public understanding of society as welcoming diversity.

Minority exclusion, by contrast, often derives from an understanding of “our history” which defines minorities outside the circle of the legitimate. At the same time, minorities often carry with them the imprint of unrectified historical injustice.

The international human rights system has increasingly grappled with public memory as a condition of human rights-based justice. For example, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence has held that memorialization is a pillar of transitional justice, and necessary to address contemporary forms of exclusion and discrimination, including those facing minority communities.

In countries where minorities have been confronted with histories of human rights abuses, the recognition of past histories and the work of memorialization cut across all aspects of full reparation and reconciliation. Shedding light on past histories and advancing the process of memorialization are also key to ensuring the preservation and transmission of past memories to future generations.

Furthermore, memorialization is an instrument of forward-looking social transformations that can foster dialogue, trust, inclusion, and ultimately reconciliation.

The 2024 Edition of the International Contest will shed light on the role and work of artists in the process of memorialization in different countries and contexts, and give visibility to the narratives, histories and memories expressed through arts by minority individuals and communities.

Eligibility and Application to the Minority Artists Awards

Artists who self-identify as belonging to a national, ethnic, religious or linguistic minority are welcome to apply to the International Contest for Minority Artists. All artworks focusing on
the recognition

of minority histories and memories in the present as a theme are eligible, including but not limited to photography, painting, video, installation, drawing, sculpture, dancing, music, etc. Due to practical reasons, it is however required that a presentation of the artwork(s) be submitted in a digital format.

UN Human Rights does not request the rights to the artwork(s). However, it will ask for (1) explicit affirmation from the artist that UN Human Rights and partners are enabled to profile the artists and use the virtual presentation of the artwork(s) in public specifically in connection with the contest and its promotion; and (2) that UN Human Rights and partners will not return copies of any works submitted.

When applying to the award, entrants will submit a short biography (including on their minority background), a paragraph describing their approach to the theme of the 2024 contest, and a selection of up to 5 pieces of their artwork that relate to such theme.

Four awards each will be offered by the Judging Panel; among these awards, one Minority Youth Artist Award will be reserved for artists aged between 18-2411. The Judges Panel can also grant honorable mentions. The award-winners and honorable mentions will be publicly announced in November 2024.

How to Apply

For more information and job application details, see; Call for Applications: International Contest for Minority Artists