We are in the pursuit of insight and clarity. We seek reflection and understanding, and to get there we go back to our roots, we seek wisdom, we draw inspiration from nature, indigenous cultures, and world philosophies. Our current initiatives involve residencies, a festival, a yearly magazine and a series of touring exhibitions and collaborations with creatives and organisations. We also keep an illustrated journal that we share on a weekly basis.
While we describe ourselves as a creative hub, The Rights Studio is, in fact, an invitation. An invitation into a new way of thinking and doing, one which begins with questioning everything we take for granted. In particular, how we contribute – or think we contribute – to a better world. We will not have all the answers, but we want to ask better questions.
As a studio born at the Children’s Rights International Network, our thinking departs from children’s rights but extends to all rights in general. Children’s rights are human rights, and human rights are unattainable if we are unable to protect our planet, this is as simple as it should be. However, it’s rarely understood or advocated in this way, at least not consistently.
When it comes to children, the overwhelming approach is one of pity or charity. Likewise, when we think of human rights, we often forget that a healthy planet is a precondition to the enjoyment of our rights: the environmental and climate crisis that all life on this planet is facing poses a big threat to human rights, as human life is inextricably linked to the health of our planet.
Our departure from children’s rights is a way to point to the urgency and immediacy of actions that are required by society; children are humans today, with human rights today. But it is also a way to connect with our ancestors and with future generations so that our actions are grounded in work done before us and build foundations for those who will come next.
Advocating for children’s rights is not just for children and their families, it’s not just for lawyers or NGOs or people who make the policy – it’s the foundation of an open, free and collaborative society that is conscious of its dependence on a healthy planet.
Metaphor and poetic figures as allegories are normally used in a very specific context unrelated to science. Always inviting other perspectives and perceptions married with a poetic sense of the world. Our intention here is to bring this artistic language into a science-social context, helping to open new communication roads.
Art is a way of sensing the world which escapes classification, an emotional process that can complement the objectiveness that seems to govern society. Art, in any form, can be understood as another kind of knowledge that needs and respects the freedom of the individual, the imagination and the capacity of creation; that is, the premises for criticism. The latter being the one that opens the door to nonconformity, this is where any hope of radical change lies.
Our aspiration, therefore, is to run the Rights Studio as an art form in and of itself. This means working artfully, not just producing or creating art through various means but approaching our work and mission as a social enterprise as if it was an art form: asking questions, being critical, daring to imagine, and to break the rules when necessary, and practicing all these over and over. It takes skill to make art, and it takes skill to make things right. You can read more about the role of art in our work in our Journal article The Function of Art. We also believe art is key to helping us move away from An Imagination Crisis.
The Rights Studio is a space where we allow ourselves, and encourage each other, to think deeply, to reflect, to let go of what we think we know, and let go of the need for being right. We, therefore, aspire to embody the following:
This ancient creature represents wisdom, knowledge, longevity, power, tenacity, creativity, and insight. The turtle is a water and earth animal and is considered by some cultures to carry the world on its back.
Everything in the world is interconnected: the universe, the planet, nature, animals, humans and all the issues we worry about. We are connected through our ancestors and future generations. It’s about roots, constellations, webs and allies.
We have to let go of our fixations on what we think we know, of wanting to be right. We must shift perspective, broaden our perspective and welcome new ones. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” Marcel Proust.
The mighty Condor represents vision, power, and devotion. In Native American culture it represents goodness, justice, leadership and wisdom. In the Andes, it’s a symbol of freedom and peace. Referred to as ‘the hunter of the skies’ or ‘king of birds,’ the condor ‘rides the changing currents in our lives’.
The Rights Studio is the brainchild of Miriam Sugranyes and Veronica Yates. It was officially founded in September 2020 in Berlin, Germany. However its work and ideas have been around for some years, under the auspices of the Child Rights International Network - CRIN and other partners partners.
Veronica was until recently the Director of the Child Rights International Network – CRIN, where she worked for almost 20 years. Veronica has held several Board positions, including of Child Soldiers International, The Right to Education Initiative, the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children and Child Rights Connect, and is a member of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch’s Child Rights Division. She continues to advise a number of small creative and rights focused organisations. Veronica is half Swedish, half English, grew up in Belgium and is now based in Berlin.
Miriam has been working as an illustrator and Art Director at CRIN (Child Rights International Network) for almost ten years, combining it with editorial freelance work. She graduated in Philosophy from the Universitat de Barcelona and studied a Masters in Visual Arts, specialising in illustration, at the University of the Arts, London. She is now based in Barcelona with the aim to translate words and ideas into images.
Fernanda is a Brazilian journalist and photographer who reports on the intersection of culture, social issues, and technology. She has an Erasmus Masters in Journalism, Media and Globalisation and a passion for poetry, improv theater, and all things related to communication.
We are building a team of advisers from different creative and professional fields to guide us on our journey.