Nadine Fattaleh and Oscar Humberto Pedraza Vargas Named as the Inaugural OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts Fellows at Bard CollegeThe OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College (CHRA) announced today that Nadine Fattaleh and Oscar Humberto Pedraza Vargas have been selected as the first recipients of the Center’s fellowship in human rights and the arts.
The goal of the fellowship program is to support outstanding engagement in human rights and the arts by scholars, artists, and activists. Fellows are appointed for a one-year period to pursue their own research projects while contributing to the curriculum of the new MA program in Human Rights and the Arts. Both Fattaleh and Pedraza Vargas will be in residence at Bard during the 2021-22 academic year. In addition to teaching, they will offer lectures and organize workshops at Bard’s Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, campus as part of the Open Society University Network (OSUN). Their presence at Bard and within OSUN will further CHRA’s mission of supporting multidisciplinary and collaborative knowledge production on the intersection of human rights and the arts.
“The fellowship program allows our MA Program to complement the course offerings of our permanent faculty,” said Ziad M. Abu-Rish, the program’s director. “Nadine and Oscar are talented young researchers with daring intellectual, political, and aesthetic practices. They will explore with our students a range of investigative and documentary strategies, theoretical frameworks, and case-studies that will bring the front-lines of the struggle for rights into our classrooms.”
Nadine Fattaleh is a writer and researcher from Amman, Jordan. Her work focuses on spatial practices through cartography and film. She received a BA in Middle East, South Asian and African Studies from Columbia University, and a MS in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at Columbia GSAPP. She previously worked on projects at Columbia’s Center for Spatial Research and Studio-X Amman, as well as the MMAG Foundation, Amman. Fattaleh describes her practice as “using the map to render visible structures of oppression in flagrant contradiction with human rights,” while also “remaining attentive to the realities of everyday life and the need to listen to the voices of activists and advocates that are inevitably silenced by the abstractions of data and visual representation.” Her research at Bard will concern issues of food sovereignty and agrarian rights in the Arab World.
Oscar Humberto Pedraza Vargas is a historian and anthropologist with a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from CUNY Graduate Center and a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Social Anthropology from Universidad de Los Andes. He has worked extensively with grassroots movements associated with indigenous, farmer, labor, and victim communities in Colombia and Latin America. Pedraza Vargas specializes in the analysis of transnational human rights institutions, discourses, and practices that define the value of life and death in cases of coal-related violence in Colombia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. He has also served as a main researcher for a collaboration between Forensic Architecture and the Colombian Truth Commission. During his fellowship at Bard, Pedraza Vargas will produce work for a book and an exhibition on the Truth Commission, and write on what he describes as “the subjects of earthly memory and the methodologies to address black boxes as evidentiary possibilities.” His courses will be informed by his experience mediating between a justice institution and an academic/artistic research group.
“Nadine and Oscar embody the scholar-activist-artist nexus. Their research and praxis on spatial justice, truth and reconciliation, and food justice are of particular relevance to CHRA’s programming. We are pleased to support their research while they inspire our students, faculty, and the public,” said Tania El Khoury, Director of the OSUN Center for Human Rights and The Arts at Bard College.
Details on the MA Program in Human Rights and the Arts and other CHRA activities can be found at chra.bard.edu.
About the OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College
The OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts (CHRA) researches, inspires, and extends the intersection of art and human rights. Through robust public programming, an arts biennial, publications, and a series of digital commissions, CHRA brings critical attention to innovative forms of art and activism that investigate human rights violations and develop creative tools of resistance. Designed by Bard’s Human Rights Program, the Fisher Center at Bard, and the Central European University, and launched through the Open Society University Network (OSUN), its interdisciplinary MA Program in Human Rights and the Arts brings together an international cadre of scholars, artists, and activists to explore the highly charged relation between artistic practices and struggles for truth and justice. CHRA also collaborates with partners across the OSUN network and provides fellowship and grant opportunities for students, scholars, artists, and activists at Bard College and around the world.
About the Open Society University Network
The Open Society University Network (OSUN) is a new global network of educational institutions that integrates learning in the social sciences, humanities, sciences, and arts. Advancing a new model of global higher education, it promotes the advancement of knowledge on undergraduate and graduate levels and across both geographic and demographic boundaries. It is dedicated to promoting civic engagement on behalf of open societies, and works to expand access to higher education for underserved communities. opensocietyuniversitynetwork.org
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