The Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR), through a grant from the Open Society Foundations, has set up a fund – Arctivists – to support activists and artists across the world responding to the outbreak of Covid-19 and its implications for human rights defenders, activism, and shrinking civic and political space.


CAHR recognises that collaborative endeavours between activists and artists have the potential to provide innovative responses to the current Covid-19 emergency, whether in a reactive, therapeutic or imaginative form. They seek applications from activists and artists to address one or more of the following three objectives:

  • Document, monitor and analyse events in real time.
  • Reflect on wellbeing, both your own and that of your communities/ organisations.

Go beyond a reactive response to imagine new, alternative futures. This futureoriented work could assess how crisis and disruption open up new possibilities for creativity and innovation, as well as for regressive and repressive measures, and/or build on positive responses to the virus itself (local and global forms of solidarity).

Expected Outputs

Activists could write a diary, make a weekly podcast, write a blog, etc. Artists could work in their chosen media, to respond to the activist’s contribution and/or to wider developments in their country/region. They are open to innovative suggestions on the nature of the collaboration between activists and artists.

Funding Information

The amount of funding you are applying for, and a brief justification for the specific amount requested in the form of a basic budget and justification of resources (subsistence/salary costs can be included). It is envisaged that most grants will be for between £1,000 and £2,000. Additional justification will be required for larger awards, up to £3,000, for example, that the application involves groups of activists and/or artists.

Project Proposals

Activists and artists should apply by presenting a single collaborative project proposal that does not exceed two pages in length and includes the following:

  • A brief profile/bio of the artist(s) and activist(s) involved.
  • A brief description of the project/programme of work, highlighting in particular how it responds to the Covid-19 emergency and its links to activism and civic/political space; which of the 3 objectives set out above it responds to; any safety, security and ethical concerns, and how these will be addressed; whether it builds on existing initiatives or is a new collaboration, and through which media/methodologies it will be carried out.
  • The main beneficiaries and audiences of the project/programme of work and why the methodology/medium is appropriate for the local context.
  • Details of additional sources of funding or contributions.
  • The envisioned output(s) of the project/programme of work, for both the activist(s) and artist(s).
  • One appendix featuring examples of artistic work can be included in the application. The appendix can be additional to the 2-page application.
  • While applications need to be in English, activist and artist outputs which are in part or completely in local languages are welcomed.

Assessment Criteria

  • Clear description of the link between Covid-19, and responses to the virus, on the one hand, and threats to activism and civic/political space on the other, affecting either the artists/activists making the application and/or their country.
  • Evidence of a strong working relationship between the artist(s) and activist(s).
  • Feasibility and relevance of the project in challenging and difficult circumstances (including consideration of safety, security and ethics).
  • Evidence of innovation and creativity – notwithstanding point, they are willing to take risks with thisfund to support work that is provocative and challenging.

For more information, visit CAHR.

Name of the Organisation
Centre for Applied Human Rights
Grant Amount
Pound 2,000
Closing date of Proposal
Monday, 31 August, 2020
RFP Email
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