Art is action

Online panel discussion and live Q&A

September 28, 2021 at 1 p.m. (CDT)

This event has passed.

Portion of a large artwork consisting of objects set in cedar frames. Partially obscured.

Photo: CMHR, Aaron Cohen

Event details

Responding to genocide through art

Online program (Zoom)

Video: L’action par l’art: Table ronde en ligne

In this panel discussion, artists and activists will share their perspectives on the long‐lasting effects of mass atrocities and how art can raise awareness and provoke action for change.

The unmarked graves of thousands of Indigenous children at the sites of former residential schools have focused national attention on the genocide against Indigenous people in Canada.

Drawing on the work of artists featured in two exhibitions currently on display at the Museum, Artivism and Witness Blanket: Preserving a Legacy, this program will profile the efforts of artists to respond to atrocities around the world and inspire people to take action.

The virtual program will be moderated by CBC journalist Duncan McCue and features:

A Q&A session with the audience will follow

Take Action

Get inspired to take personal and collective action by participating in the 60/60/60 challengeduring your visit of Artivism and Witness Blanket: Preserving a Legacy at the Museum and Artivism online. The 60/60/60 Challenge concept was created by the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Museum is proud to present this program in partnership with the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities in connection with the Artivism exhibition currently on view at the CMHR.

Please note that this program is subject to change or cancellation without notice.


  • Elder Harry Bone is from the Keeseekoowenin Ojibway Nation. He has served as Chief and Director of Education of his community, as well as CEO of the West Region Tribal Council, Director of Native Programs for the Government of Canada, and a Vice‐President of Aboriginal Cultural Centres of Canada. He currently sits as Chairperson of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba Council of Elders.

    He has a graduate degree in political studies at the University of Manitoba, where he was also a student advisor and lecturer. In 2013 the University of Manitoba awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Laws, and in 2018 he was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada for his work to advance Indigenous traditions, education and rights in Manitoba.

  • Elisabeth Ida Mulyani does interdisciplinary work and uses various media including video, installation, and performance. Born in Indonesia and based in Belgium, Elisabeth Ida has exhibited internationally. Her first book Inside Embassies (2015) was selected as one of the best books of 2016 by Kaleid Editions in Oslo. Her recent artistic work and research handles the subject of Indonesia’s 1965 genocide and its succeeding brainwash.

    Elisabeth received a Fulbright grant in 2020 as a visiting scholar at the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies, where she assisted Prof. Geoffrey Robinson in his upcoming visual history book on Indonesian anti‐communist purge.

  • Award‐winning journalist Duncan McCue is the host of Cross Country Checkup on CBC Radio One. McCue was a reporter for CBC News in Vancouver for over 15 years. Now based in Toronto, his news and current affairs pieces continue to be featured on CBC's flagship news show, The National. McCue teaches journalism at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism and Ryerson University, and was recognized by the Canadian Ethnic Media Association with an Innovation Award for developing curriculum on Indigenous issues. He’s also an author: his book The Shoe Boy: A Trapline Memoir recounts a season he spent in a hunting camp with a Cree family in northern Quebec as a teenager. Before becoming a journalist, McCue studied English at the University of King’s College, then Law at UBC. He was called to the bar in British Columbia in 1998. He has an honourary doctorate from the University of King's College. McCue is Anishinaabe, a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation in southern Ontario, and proud father of two children.

  • Carey Newman, or Hayalthkin’geme, is a multi‐disciplinary artist and master carver. Through his father he is Kwakwak’awakw from the Kukwekum, Giiksam, and WaWalaby’ie clans of Fort Rupert, and Coast Salish from Cheam of the Sto:lo Nation along the upper Fraser Valley. Through his mother he is English, Irish, and Scottish. He is the Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practice at the University of Victoria. His artistic practice focuses on Indigenous, social, and environmental issues as he examines the impacts of colonialism and capitalism to unearth memory and trigger emotions for positive change. His most influential work, the Witness Blanket, is made of pieces collected from residential schools, government buildings and churches across Canada, and contributed by survivors and their families. This monumental work of art is currently on display at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and is the subject of a unique stewardship agreement that makes the Museum responsible alongside Newman for its care and display moving forward.

  • Aida Šehović is an artist and founder of the ŠTO TE NEMA nomadic monument in memory of the 8,372 Bosnian Muslims killed in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. Born in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Aida fled her country in 1992 due to threat of systematic violence and persecution like thousands other Bosnian Muslims. She lived as a refugee in Turkey and Germany before immigrating to the United States in 1997. Her work has been exhibited extensively in New York City, where she is based.

  • Kerry Whigham is Director of Research and Online Education at Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities. He is also assistant professor of genocide and mass atrocity prevention at Binghamton University's Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, as well as Communications Officer and a member of the executive board for the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS). His research focuses on the way post‐atrocity societies remember and engage with the past, along with how that violent past impacts the present and future. Kerry Whigham, Francesca Giubilei and Luca Berta curated Artivism, currently on view at the Museum and first displayed at the 2019 Venice Biennale.

  • Linda Young is paskwaw nehiyaw/Plains Cree from Onion Lake Cree Nation, Treaty 6 Territory in Saskatchewan. She speaks ‘y’ dialect nehiyawewin/Cree. Her first introduction to Western education was as a boarder in a Saskatchewan Roman Catholic Indian residential school, which she attended for 10 years.Trading in her nehiyaw/Cree education for a Western one in the 1950s was not her choice. Since then, education has become her life as a university student, a parent, a Sessional Lecturer in art and art history, a knowledge keeper (Plains Cree perspective) and a public speaker. Presently, Linda is a Doctoral student at the University of Saskatchewan. As a multi‐media artist, Linda focuses on the idea of a reparative act that focuses on altering a negative incident in history; it is an ethereal alteration. Her life experience informs her art practice, and each piece tells a story through the application and handling of the medium.