Action Committee for Artist Rights ACAR

“Cultural diversity can be protected and promoted only if human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression, information and communication as well as the ability of individuals to choose cultural expressions, are guaranteed.” According to the First guiding principle of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression ACAR watches and makes the international theatre community react to threats and violence against theatre people and severe restrictions to work with theatre activities, wherever it occurs in the world.

ACAR collects, proves, analyses and makes public cases of violation of the rights of theatre artists and the right to free artistic expression. The cases are addressed to politicians on a formal political level in the name of ITI, according to ACAR’s reaction scheme. ACAR cooperates with other Human and Artists Rights organizations and networks worldwide.

• To highlight violations on artists rights and freedom of expression.
• To support politically persecuted artists.
• To bring the specificity of theatre work as a collective and public live art into the international artist’s rights movement
• To develop a UNESCO reaction scheme for persecuted and censored artists.

Key Activities
• Via ACAR, ITI raises its voice by making official statements to political authorities. These statements have been prepared on the basis of the experience and the research by the committee, with participation of national centres, and in connection with other international networks and activities.
• ACAR has reacted to more than 20 personal cases of threatened theatre artists within the last 3 years.
• Following through with the ITI resolution concerning a fair visa policy for theatre artists and a motion to support the new UNESCO survey on the status of the artists at the ITI world congress 2014.
• ACAR represents ITI in international networks and at international events dealing with threats to theatre artists.

Future Plans
1. Proposal for resolution 'Declaration for an UN Plan of Action for the Safety of Artists and the Safe Promotion of Art'.
2. ACAR wants to send out working definitions of criteria for the violation of artistic freedom and the fields of artists' rights including concepts of censorship. The working group consists of Bangladesh, Finland, Germany, South Korea, Sweden, Uganda, United States.
3. Every ACAR newsletter to all Centres will include a reminder to send in reports on violations of artists' rights to monitor the situation in each country.
4. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of ITI in 2018 ACAR proposes to set up a theme for the World Theater Day Message that addresses the concerns of artists' rights.
5. The Artists' Rights committee will continue its work as a non-hierarchical working group which addresses demands and actions according to the ACAR reaction scheme (which can be found on its website).
6. During the congress ACAR received a letter from the Israeli Centre concerning the ACCO festival in Israel about its cancellation due to administrative interventions and submitted a proposal for a resolution.

Board and Board Members

Working Group
Ann Mari ENGEL, President, Sweden
Thomas ENGEL, Coordinator, Germany
Thomas IRMER, Coordinator, Germany

Corresponding Members
Cheikh OKBAOIU, Algeria
Ambroise MBIA, Cameroon
Alexandra RICE, Belgium
Fanyia WILLIAMS, United Kingdom
Hamadou MANDÉ, Burkina Faso
Gad KAYNAR, Israel
Tatjana AZMAN, Slovenia
Hanna HELAVUORI, Finland
Teresa EYRING, U.S.
Abdus SELIM, Bangladesh
NA Kyungmin, South Korea
Bettina SLUZALEK, Germany
Barbara KASTEN, Germany
Joppa SVENSSON, Sweden
Jessica KAAHWA, Uganda

For more information about ACAR, please connect with:
Secretariat of the Action Committee for Artist Rights
c/o ITI Centre Germany, Mariannenplatz 2, D-10997 Berlin
Secretary: Thomas Engel: th.engel(at)

>>Activity Report 2011-2014
>>Interim Activity Report 2014-2016