Standing Up | CHAWKY FRENN

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In Partnership with Cambridge College, 2021

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Artist Statement

As a Lebanese immigrant fleeing a war-torn country in 1981, coming to the United States was coming to a land of opportunity, a beacon for democracy, and the pinnacle of human rights. Through years of living and observing our ideals and politics, I learned that even in the Land of the Free our rights were always fought for, never given by the ruling powers.

Social justice and human rights inspire my work, a voice for peace and hope. My work alarmingly reflects the political, economic, religious, and moral predicaments that shamelessly emerged and put into question the identity and character and moral leadership of the United States.

Unscrupulous policies legalize corruption and assault basic rights with vindictive measures. Self-righteous patriotic mantras oppress dissent, generate prejudice, and grant immunity to war criminals. Religious dogmas consecrate submissive beliefs, bless compliance, and sanctify hatred of those with different convictions. Economic policies advocate unrestrained greed, cruel exploitation, and callous consumption. Justice systems, afforded by the rich and the privileged, sanction laws authorizing mass incarceration of the marginalized to supply legalized slavery to private for-profit prisons.

I believe Art is not only a witness to history, but a catalyst for change.

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