Activism & 
Witness Blanket:
Preserving a Legacy

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Temporary exhibition

 

Role: Exhibit graphic design and production

Activism and Witness Blanket: Preserving a Legacy are two different exhibits that were displayed in the same exhibit space. They were connected by the theme of artistic expression and human rights.

Artivism is an exhibition that explores artistic expression as a powerful response to large‐scale violations of human rights. It features the work of six artists and art collectives whose work takes an activist approach to expose, denounce and prevent mass atrocities.

Through their work, these “artivists” advocate for a world that respects the human rights of all individuals. Their art illuminates the importance and difficulty of recognizing and remembering atrocity. Their activism demonstrates that we all can play a part in upholding human rights and preventing mass violence.

Inspired by a woven blanket, the Witness Blanket is a large‐scale art installation by Carey Newman is made from pieces of history – hundreds of items reclaimed from residential schools, churches, government buildings, and other cultural structures all across Canada. The artwork began to degrade due to the stress of the years it spent travelling across Canada.

The Witness Blanket contains over 800 items gathered from sites and Survivors of Indian residential schools in every region of Canada. Preserving a Legacy showcases work being done to preserve the profound knowledge and experiences embedded in this powerful artwork – so future generations can continue bearing witness to its presentation of the genocide committed against the original peoples of this land.