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Duke Human Rights Archive: Human Rights and the Arts


Several collections in the Human Rights Archive document how artists engage human rights and social justice issues and how human rights and social justice movements deploy art as part of their advocacy strategies.  Artistic engagement and strategies may include photography, theatre, film, performance, radio, oral history, and literature. 

The Archive of Documentary Arts and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture also have numerous collections that focus on human rights advocacy through artistic works. 


Collection Guides

Darrin Zammit Lupi photojournalism archive: Darrin Zammit Lupi is a photojournalist based in Malta. This archive comprises two bodies of documentary work. The earlier project, "Malta Detention", consists of color photographs, taken by Lupi from 2004-2013, of African migrants and asylum seekers in Malta detention camps.  The second project, "On Board the MV Aquarius", comprises color photographs and supporting image files compiled by Lupi in December, 2017, while on board the Aquarius, a migrant search and rescue ship operated by the non-profit organizations SOS Méditerranée and Médecins sans frontières; while there, he documented the rescue of 320 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, and their safe arrival in Pozzallo, Sicily.

Debi Cornwall Photographs, 2014-2016: Collection contains 28 color prints from Debi Cornwall's project "Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play/Beyond Gitmo." The project pairs images from two series. The first, "Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play" was made during three visits to the base in 2014-2015. The series "Beyond Gitmo" consists of environmental portraits of 10 men once held at Gitmo who have since been cleared of charges and freed.

Gary Monroe Photographs, 1980-1998: Documentary photographer, writer, and lecturer based in Florida. A collection of 100 16x20 black-and-white gelatin silver prints shot by Gary Monroe from 1980 to 1998 in Haiti, in Haitian neighborhoods in Florida, and in Krome Camp, Florida, where Haitian refugees are detained by the U.S. government. Images depict individuals, families, and groups of Haitians and Haitian-Americans in a wide variety of locations, including city streets in Port Au Prince and Miami, rural locales, marketplaces, religious centers, housing interiors, and other locations. Some images of protests and ceremonies are included. Prints are identified by unique number assigned by photographer and arranged by country and then chronologically by number. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts.

Incarceration Zines Collection, 2005-2007: Collection of incarceration and anarchist publications produced by South Chicago ABC Zine Distro. Collection consists of 103 zines and drawings which include works most notably by Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sundiata Acoli, Ashanti Alston Omowali, David Gilbert and his son, Chesa Boudin, Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, Dennis Kyne, Anthony Rayson, Bobby Sands, Sean Swain, and Harold H. Thompson.

Inside-Outside Alliance records, 2012-2019: Collection includes zines, newsletters, flyers, and a petition which document Inside-Outside Alliance's activism concerning the Durham County Jail and policing in Durham, North Carolina. This collection also documents the stories of Durham County Jail detainees and community members.

Man Bites Dog Films records: Man Bites Dog Films is the creator of the podcast Leonard: Political Prisoner, which received the Rubenstein Library's first Human Rights Audio Documentary Award. The podcast details the case of Leonard Peltier, an Indigenous activist and artist who is serving a life sentence in prison for allegedly killing two FBI agents in 1975.

Palestinian Oral History Project, 2017-2019, Oral history interviews with Palestinian students and artists.

Palestinian Student Films, 2012-2019, Thirty-five films by 36 Palestinian student filmmakers, created between 2012 and 2019, documenting or portraying the political context and lived experience in the West Bank and Gaza.

Pauli Murray Project Records, 2004-2012: The Pauli Murray Project is an ongoing project in the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute. It sponsors programs and courses creating documentaries and other community resources about Durham history. The Pauli Murray Project Records include both community projects and oral history projects from undergraduate courses offered by Duke University through the Center for Documentary Studies and the Franklin Humanities Institute.

Petra Barth photographs, 2006-2017: Collection consists of 421 black-and-white prints, darkroom and digital, 726 associated digital image and project files, and two digital videos by freelance photographer Petra Barth.  In 1999, fulfilling a lifelong ambition, she became a full-time freelance photographer and has travelled extensively, including projects represented in this collection in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Middle East, the Ukraine, and the border between Mexico and the Southwestern U.S.

Radio Haiti Papers, circa 1934-2003: Radio Haïti-Inter was Haiti's first and most prominent independent radio station from the early 1970s until 2003. Under the direction of Jean Léopold Dominique and Michèle Montas, Radio Haiti was a voice of social change and democracy, speaking out against oppression and impunity while advocating for human rights and celebrating Haitian culture and heritage.

Student Action with Farmworkers records, 1950-2018 Audiovisual Materials, 1986-2015Founded in 1992 in Durham, North Carolina, Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring students and farmworkers together to learn about each other's lives, share resources and skills, improve conditions for farmworkers, and build diverse coalitions working for social change. Chiefly contains audio, visual, and digital material from Into the Fields, AIM, and Levante documentary projects created by interns and students. Typical content includes: theater recordings; recorded interviews; digital photographs; digital videos; artwork; and music and poetry.

Student Action With Farmworkers records, 1950-2018 SAF Student Projects, 1986-2018: Founded in 1992 in Durham, North Carolina, Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring students and farmworkers together to learn about each other's lives, share resources and skills, improve conditions for farmworkers, and build diverse coalitions working for social change. Series houses hundreds of files related to SAF's student-oriented documentary and leadership projects including AIM Farmworker Class, Into the Fields (ITF), and Levante. Some projects were created as part of Duke University Documentary Studies classes. Individual projects typically lasted one academic semester, one summer, or several weeks, and usually were carried out by one or two students.

Theater Three Collaborative Records, 1970-2014: Collection consists largely of materials from plays written or directed by Theater Three Collaborative co-founder Karen Malpede, including The Beekeeper's Daughter, I Will Bear Witness, Prophecy, Iraq: Speaking of War, Another Life, and Extreme Whether. Each play addressed a social or human rights issue, such as Bosnian refugees, genetic engineering, torture and the Iraq War, global warming, and the Holocaust.

Video for Social Change Oral History Collection, 2014: Video for Social Change was a documentary film course taught by Bruce Orenstein at the Center for Documentary Studies in the spring of 2014. The collection includes eight interviews, with North Carolina social justice activists James Andrews, Rukiya Dillahunt, Anita Earls, Angaza Laughinghouse, Dani Moore, Allison Riggs, Melinda Wiggins, and Mel Williams. The materials in the collection include camera footage in AVCHD format, edited master videos in MP4 format, transcripts, and releases for eight interviews.

Catalog Items

Tenacious zine box set : art & writings by women in prison, 2002 to 2020

Victoria Law, New York : Booklyn, Inc., 2021.

Justice at Smithfield

design: Colin Matthes / justseeds, Matthes, Colin, artist, [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?] : [Justseeds Artists' Cooperative]

Sin Cesar

Laura Langa Martínez ; Ariel Arango Prada, Bogotá, Colombia : Editorial Entrelazando, 2021.

Metamorfosis : guerrilleros en busca de la paz = Metamorphosis : guerrilas in search of peace

Malcolm Linton, Bogotá, D.C., Colombia : Villegas Editores, 2019, call number TR820.6 .L56 2019 c.1

Amnesty International 1997: photographs from the collection of the International Center of Photography.

New York: Universe Publishing, [1996]

The backpackers = Los mochileros

Call Number: TR680 .B377 2016 c.1, Publication Date: 2016

Camps & classrooms: a pictorial history of Frontier College

James H. Morrison, Toronto: Frontier College Press, 1989

Free trade area of the Americas.

Call Number: HF1745 .F744 2001 c.1, Machias, Maine: The Beehive Design Collective, 1 Elm St., [2001]

Going to Carolina del Norte: narrating Mexican migrant experiences

Call Number: HD8081.M6 G646 2006, Publication Date: 2006

Growing season: the life of a migrant community

photographs by Gary Harwood ; text by David Hassler ; foreword by Robert Coles, Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, c2006

Here & there: a coloring book by the children of migrant farmworkers = Aquí y allá: un libro coloriado por los niños de trabajadores agricolas

edited by Jane Konitz, Poughkeepsie, NY: Rural and Migrant Ministry, [2002]

Into the light: images of hispanic migrant farmworkers in North Carolina = Hacia la luz, imágenes de trabajadores agrícolas migratorios latinos en Carolina del Norte

Roger Manley, Raleigh: Telamon Corp., c1990.

Kids like me: voices of the immigrant experience

by Judith M. Blohm & Terri Lapinsky, Boston: Intercultural Press, 2006.

Latin American solidarity

Machias, Me.: Beehive Design Collective, 2003.

Libro de las preguntas = Yon ti liv kesyon = A book of questions. by Armendi, Aurora de 

Call Number: N7433.4.A76 L5 2014 c.1, Publication Date: 2014

The mariposa: written and illustrated by Andrew Zermeño

Call Number: PS3626.E76 M37 2010 c.1, Publication Date: 2010

Mesoamerica resiste

Machias, Me.: Beehive Design Collective, 2013.

A migrant family

text and photographs by Larry Dane Brimner, Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, [1992]

A photo report on the chemical massacre in Halabja

by Iranian photographers, [Tehran?] : Iran Photo Foundation, [1988]

Plan Colombia

Machias, Me.: Beehive Design Collective, 2013. 

Poèmes pour la quête de l'aube

Roger Th. Aubourg ; préface de Gérard Campfort et témoignages de Serge B. Gilbert, Raymond Philoctère, Josaphat-Robert Large et Jean-Max Calvin, [Port-au-Prince?] : Collection Hounguénikon, [1988]

Regreso a Barataria

Rafael Rubio; fotografías de Ana Belart, Valencia: Editorial Aduana Vieja, 2006.

Speak Palestine, speak again: photographs

Martin A. Sugarman, Malibu, Calif. : Sugarman Productions, 1997.

Storm over Cuba: photographs

Martin A. Sugarman, Malibu, Calif.: Sugarman Productions, c1995

Today is not like yesterday: a Chilean journey

photographs by Ted Polumbaum; text by Nyna Brael Polumbaum, Cambridge, Mass.: Light & Shadow, c1992

--y no se lo tragó la tierra

Tomás Rivera; [translated by Evangelina Vigil-Piñón], Houston, Tex.: Arte Público Press, 1992