A Canvas of Courage

Activist art in support of human rights across East and West Asia

Free admission. From Thursday 30th November until Sunday 10th December.

Opening times: 10:00-18:00, Monday - Saturday; Sunday: 12-18:00.

Panel Discussion with artists: Saturday 2 Dec 2023, 2pm - with Jens Galschiøt, Fahmi Reza, Loretta Lau


Artist Workshop and Community Table: Sunday 3 Dec 2023, 12pm

Entrance is at the back of Union Chapel:

Union Chapel, Compton Avenue, N1 2XD

Across the world authoritarian governments continue to suppress political opposition, restrict media, and maintain a tight grip on power, stifling  rights and freedoms. From the UK to Hong Kong to Thailand, we are witnessing arbitrary arrest and detention of peaceful protestors and activists, as well as routine use of excessive force to crush peaceful assemblies. 

One form of resistance against this increasingly repressive environment is the expression of dissent through art. In every country and context activists are becoming artists and artists are becoming activists, using their work to highlight oppression, challenge authoritarian narratives about human rights and civil society, and to centre the lived experiences of those who are being repressed. 

This exhibition, a collaboration between Amnesty International UK, Artvocate.co and Union Chapel, brings the work of Asian artists working on these themes together. We are platforming the work of individuals and collectives from Hong Kong, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia. We will explore powerful expressions of resistance and efforts to promote human rights, while building connections between diaspora activists and artists.

You will get the chance to appreciate the Pillar of Shame, created by Jens Galschiøt depicting the 4th June Massacre, alongside with 20 other established activist artists such as James Earley (prestigious prize winner at The London Biennale), Sai (prominent Burmese artist whose father was seized by the military junta) and Fahmi Reza (Malaysian artist best known for portraying Malaysian politicians in a satirical way). They demonstrate how human rights violations are a collective experience shared across cultures and geographic boundaries. Together, we strive to extend the reach and impact of activist art, to create dialogues between artists and activists, and  to inspire the fight for justice and human rights.