By Hania Aswad
This quote by Suzanne Siskel, also a member of the PSJ&P working group, sums it all for me;
“… I don’t think you can talk about social change or social justice – if that includes affecting changes in behavior, belief and attitude – without considering the cultural dimensions of the ways in which people experience and filter the world. And artistic expression - voices, rhythms and visions – are tangible and visceral ways in which resistance to new influences may be mediated and change and adaptation can be shaped.” Suzanne Siskel, Asia Foundation (San Francisco, US)
Heading the Naseej Foundation which aims at achieving justice for communities and supporting a good number of ‘Arts & Culture’ programs and artists amongst many others from various sectors, I often find myself having to defend the direct relevance between our mission and the Arts.
I’m a critic of “poverty porn,” the selling of poverty to increase donations. It dehumanizes “beneficiaries” (a word that itself is dehumanizing), but even worse, it’s a slippery slope. Engaging donors on the basis of crisis means you always need a new crisis to keep them engaged; successful philanthropy becomes dependent on having a steady stream of victims.
The European Foundation Conference this year was held in Sarajevo, 15-17 May 2014. It was entitled “Rethinking Europe: Solidarity, civil society and political governance”. Why was the conference held in Sarajevo? Erik Rudeng, The Chair of European Foundation Centre said that: “Sarajevo provides a very special location, in relation to the centenary anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, allowing us to take a critical look at the past, discuss issues affecting communities across Europe today and look to the future and the role of foundations in building and sustaining vigorous and peaceful societies within Europe and worldwide”.
A version of this post first appeared on http://youngfeministfund.org/ on June 30, 2014
After four years since it’s founding, FRIDA remains the only youth-led fund in the world focused exclusively on supporting global young feminist activism.
Last March, a small group of social justice philanthropy thinkers and advocates gathered for a 2 day meeting at the sidelines of the WINGS Conference in Istanbul, Turkey. Participants were mainly from Africa but we also had a few from the diaspora and the global SJP community. The meeting was a culmination of offline and online conversations and conference calls that had been going on throughout 2013 and the felt need for getting together to consolidate and build consensus on how best to carry the group's work forward. The offline conversations include the discussions at the AFF and AGN convenings in Cairo, Egypt and Johannesburg, SA respectively in 2012 and the EAAG Conference in 2013 in Mombasa, Kenya. These were complimented by bilateral ongoing conversations. The decision to have a substantive working meeting was made in October 2013.