Sekajugo is being honoured for his "outstanding and brave creative works that have captured contemporary human rights concerns".
HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD 2019
KAMPALA - Ugandan artist and social entreprenuer Collin Sekajugo has been named the recipient of the Human Rights Award, 2019.
The talented and widely travelled 38-year-old visual artist will receive the award at the third edition of the Human Rights Convention on Thursday in Kampala.
Organisers of the event, Chapter Four Uganda, are recognising Sekajugo for his "outstanding and brave creative works that have captured, in vivid color and compelling imaginary, contemporary human rights concerns".
Previous winners are lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi (2017), the inuagural recipient, and human rights activist Prof. Sylvia Tamale (2018). The two stood out thanks to their sustained promotion and championing of human rights in the country.
Sekajugo, most of whose work spanning years illustrates as well as typifies a need for social change, joins this distinguished cast.
Nicholas Opiyo, the executive director of Chapter Four Uganda, says that his painting of the clenched fist of jailed former Makerere University research fellow Dr. Stella Nyanzi titled 'The Fist of Stella' "has become a symbol of the struggle against oppression and human rights violation".
'Arts a powerful & peaceful tool of social change'
In a statement released ahead of the convention, organisers say they believe the arts are a "powerful and peaceful tool of social mobilising and transformation in an increasingly restrictive civic environment".
For that reason, they found Sekajugo a worthy recipient of the prestigious annual award.
The hope is that the award will highlight his works and inspire others like him to "use their skills to change their societies and more importantly promote human dignity and equality, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalised".
Justice Kenneth Kakuru will deliver the keynote address on rule of law at Thursday's convention in Uganda's capital, during which the Human Rights Award will be conferred.
The award was introduced in 2017 and is given to individuals that have an outstanding track record in the advancement of human rights in Uganda.
It is seen as part of Chapter Four Uganda’s effort to promote human rights and to honour the contributions of "these extraordinary individuals".
Sekajugo creating conversations through art
Using art, Sekajugo has previously initiated a campaign on road safety emphasizing the need to wear helmets when using the motorcycle. In a separate drive, he has also advanced the need to keep our city clean through a change in people's mindsets.
"Societies are dismantled as new cultures are born," he says.
"Some lost their cultural heritage and assimilated new lifestyles while others are born in a mix of cultures. Often times, I love to create works that encourage conversations on things that we as a people look upon as a shared culture.
"I am very keen to raise awareness on issues concerning our breaking societies as triggered by discrimination to segregation, from disintegration to integration and from environmental change to safety," says Sekajugo, also founder of Weaver Bird Arts Foundation.
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