The second edition of the recently launched Selam Talks forum took place today, December 16, 2022 at the Swedish Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the title “Human right and Democracy at glance of Art and culture” by conducting research for three months.
The session explored the role of art and culture in supporting democracy and human rights through panel discussions featuring various representatives from the culture and civil society sectors.
Samuel Tefera (PhD), an assistant professor at the Centre for African and Asian Studies, will deliver the findings of the research on “The nexus between Arts/Culture and Human rights and/or Democracy in Ethiopia”, followed by a panel conducted by Metasebia Dereje, a news editor, anchor, and morning show host at Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporate.
The panellists include Tigist Alemayehu Gion (Lecturer at Addis Ababa University, school of Theater Arts), Hanna Andargachew (Partnership Director), Bedilu Wakjira (PhD) (Poet, teacher and author), Mahlet Fitsum (LLB, Addis Ababa University and LLM, European Inter University Center) at Lawyer and Consultant at Law Democracy and Human Rights Expert, Gender Advisor.
Selam Ethiopia believes that the arts play a vital part in the development of a human rights culture; they allow the average citizen to connect with concepts about what defines a human and decent life, and they establish conditions that allow the citizen to build a persistent caring and commitment to efforts against human rights abuses and violations.
“With the Selam Talks, we wish to see a culture of human rights by encouraging audiences and participants to share critical ideas, possible solutions, and examples of good practice drawn from lived experience or from their professional areas of activity,” Selam project manager Sisay Mengistie said.
He added: “By fostering cultural dialogue around human rights and the arts in Ethiopia, the festival contributes to the development of the human rights culture that allows us to imagine better and more equitable collective futures.”