IFEP is inherently collaborative, working with artists, activists, storytellers, innovators, teachers, like-minded organizations and people of all types and at all levels of society to encourage creative expression and amplify the message that, if we stand by when someone else is silenced, we too may be silenced one day. IFEP has launched four initiatives to spread the word.
One Monument, Many Voices
IFEP plans to erect the world’s first iconic work of public art symbolizing free expression. Cutting-edge technologies will enable it to be programmed and reprogrammed from anywhere in the world to appear as almost anything — from original works of art to the faces and stories of people being persecuted for speaking their minds. It also will generate renewable energy. IFEP has partnered in this venture with an organization that has sponsored competitions around the world to design high-tech public artworks.
A Home for Ideas
IFEP has assembled a high-powered real estate team to develop a “Marketplace of Ideas” in a historic, abandoned newspaper pressroom at the front entrance to the U.S. city of Pittsburgh. This Marketplace will be a unique combination of immersive educational technologies, art installations, musical and theatrical performances, food stands, beverage booths, maker and artist studios, readings and lectures, light and film projections — an explosion of expression. Every activity will have an educational purpose.
A Global Gallery
IFEP supports artists and innovators — especially those at risk or who often go unheard — by commissioning, exhibiting and helping to sell their original works. These will be featured in the “Marketplace of Ideas,” in popup exhibits and online.
© Adam Taylor
Working with artists, technologists and educators, IFEP will invent new tools for creative expression that engage audiences in art and activism, connecting communities in real time to events around the world. Once fine-tuned, these tools will be made available to teachers and advocacy groups around the world.
© Jamie Earnest
© Adam Taylor
What does it mean?
Never has there been a more important moment to stand in defense of free expression. Governments across the globe are crushing dissent. Populist movements are organizing or inspiring attacks on journalists, political opponents and those they see as a threat simply because of who they are. Extremists are executing those who hold different beliefs or live different lives. Political polarization, often fed by mis- and disinformation, is spreading intolerance.
Expression comes in many forms — in what you wear, say, sing, draw or invent. In how you walk, talk, listen or raise your eyebrows. In what you stand for and what you tolerate. In who you befriend and who you love. Freedom of expression means you can choose your way of being in the world without fear.
© Martha Rial