We start this year of 2021 with a new blog and our new organisation, The Rights Studio.
While we describe ourselves as a new 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.
Why? We need to have open and honest conversations about our sector and interrogate whether we are as essential as we convince ourselves
we are. The radical change that is needed is unlikely to come from institutions or from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) like ours.
So what is our role? And who are our allies?
The questions we ask are not about the answers, nor are they about new ideas. There are enough ideas out there to reinvent the world several
times over. As Audre Lorde said “there are no new ideas still waiting in the wings to save us... There are only old and forgotten ones, new
combinations, extrapolations and recognitions from within ourselves - along with the renewed courage to try them out.”
In practical terms, we will do this primarily through the arts and other creative expressions. However, this goes beyond what we do or
produce to how we approach and do the work.
“Art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. … Why should the lamp or the house be an art
object, but not our life?” asked Michel Foucault.
This leads us to the raison d’être of the Rights Studio: why not aspire to run our organisation as an art form in and of itself? The goal would not be to achieve a perfect organisation, rather to examine every aspect of the work as something that can be continually improved over time.
We will be sharing our journey through these questions in this blog, with words and illustrations. We will also share some of the thinking that inspires us, and invite guest writers to contribute to the blog.
Maybe it’s a tall order but we believe that with humility, reflection and openness it is a challenge worth taking.
We hope you will join us on our journey.
Veronica Yates, Co-Founder, Managing Director
Miriam Sugranyes, Co-Founder, Art Director
“From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, … but nothing I did before the age of 70 was worthy of attention. At 73, I began to grasp the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am 86, so that by 90 I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At 100, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at 130, 140, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive.”— Katsushika Hokusai, also known as Gakyō Rōjin Manji (The Old Man Mad About Art)
“Either we will establish an ecological society or society will go under for everyone, irrespective of his or her status.” — Ursula K. Le Guin
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." ― Friedrich Nietzsche