ARTivism: Dicta

by International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD)
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ARTivism: Dicta
ARTivism: Dicta
ARTivism: Dicta
ARTivism: Dicta
ARTivism: Dicta
ARTivism: Dicta
ARTivism: Dicta
ARTivism: Dicta
ARTivism: Dicta

We’re excited to announce that the newest Dicta poetry series from Harbani Ahuja will be unveiled soon!

Right now, the immersive virtual exhibit hosts two collections of 20 poems on Women’s Rights and the Rights of Black People. By creating found poetry from court decisions, Harbani illuminates key human rights moments in United States history. 

This includes the struggle over abortion rights, evidenced in Harbani’s poem created from Roe v Wade. As the repeal of Roe v Wade may take place this summer, instantly making abortion illegal in 22 US States, the piece is all too poignant. Read the poem here.

We are now busy preparing to launch the next virtual collection on Immigrant Rights. These poems will be drawn from major Supreme Court cases on immigration and citizenship, addressing themes including race, internment, religious freedom, and naturalization. The cross-cutting nature of structural discrimination is something that is highlighted in each of Harbani’s poems. 

This project would not be possible without our partnership with digital creative agency y’all and sponsorships from international law firm Clifford Chance, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; and Graymatters. And it would not be possible without your help and feedback. 

We’d love to hear what you think of the exhibit: join the conversation using the hashtag #DictaLegalPoetry. And stay tuned for the next series launch!


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The Dicta virtual exhibit is live, and we can’t wait for you to experience it! You can visit the exhibit here

As you know, Dicta is Harbani Ahuja’s series of found poetry in court decisions that illuminate broader social justice themes from the black letter text. There are 20 poems from the 40-poem series up in the exhibit. The two themes covered so far are the Rights of Black People and Women’s Rights. The Rights of Black People series was published in the ABA Journal earlier this year. This year, additional poems will be added to the exhibit on the themes of the Right to Love, Immigration, and Indigenous Rights. 

We have been amazed by the responses so far, and we would love to hear what you think. The exhibit has garnered sponsorships from international law firm Clifford Chance; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; and Graymatters; and the virtual exhibit has been developed in partnership with digital creative agency, y’all.

In addition to the virtual exhibit, sixteen poems are currently on display in Clifford Chance’s New York office as part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to supporting human rights efforts, arts, and the community. Clifford Chance also produced a podcast with Partner Celeste Koeleveld and ICAAD Advisor Zuleka Henderson on the impact of the Dicta series and "Artivism" as a means of driving social justice which can be viewed here. Zuleka is a licensed social worker, a cultural healing and anti-racism consultant, and the Founding Director of the Center for Black WellBeing, which serves as a wellness destination that houses several healing lanes specifically designed for Black people.

Don’t miss the exhibit, and be sure to share it with your friends and family!


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We have many exciting updates to share around the Artivism program and ICAAD's release of Dicta, Artivist-in-Residence Harbani Kaur Ahuja's new exhibition. 

The first 10 poems of Dicta received an excellent reception through their release via the ABA Journal over the past three months. The ABA Journal is one of the most widely read legal publications in the U.S. and in addition to the release of the gallery, an article was published on Harbani and her work. 

Harbani was also featured on the Legal Talk Today Podcast. Listen to Harbani’s interview with Laurence Colletti; she reads LA v. Lyons and shares what the piece means to her and her process in creating Dicta. Click here to listen

Harbani was also interviewed for Law360 Pulse. In the article, you can read about how poetry influences her work as an attorney and get a preview of one of the poems from the next Women's Rights series: Walmart v. Dukes. Check it out here.  

We also have four blogs inspired by Dicta that were published over the past three months. One, written by two Masters students at Columbia University focuses on Racial Equity in NYC Public Schools.

The second and third articles are a two-part series entitled "Police Cannot Police Themselves." And the fourth is a case study on the Supreme Court's impact in relation to a case on racial justice in employment law. You can read those four blogs on ICAAD's Ideas blog.

What's on the horizon for Dicta?

We have partnered with Y’all, a creative design firm, to develop and launch an immersive virtual exhibit for Dicta on International Human Rights Day, December 10th. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for the rollout of the Women’s Rights Dicta series. 

We've also opened a call for applications to invite the next cohort of Artivists-in-Residence.

With your support, we’ll be able to bring on more artivists next year and launch even more exhibits that educate people on human rights and inspire them to activism by moving them from the heart.

Thank you for your continued support!

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Thanks to your support, we are launching Harbani’s first ten poems from the Rights of Black People series in the ABA Journal. One poem will be released each week through August. The first two poems are live now: Plessy v. Ferguson and Loving v. Virginia. We will also be sharing excerpts of each poem on social media under #DictaLegalPoetry and on our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. We hope you enjoy the series and that it serves as a reminder of the timelessness of the struggle for human and civil rights in the United States. 

Unreleased Version of Plessy v. Ferguson

Harbani created two versions of Plessy v. Ferguson, one of which we have not released publicly. You can get a copy of the unreleased version here

What’s next? 

Over the next year, Harbani will continue creating poems to complete a 40 poem series along the themes of Women’s Rights, Rights of Black People, LGBTQI+ Rights, Immigration Rights, and Indigenous Rights. The next release in the series will be the virtual exhibition of all the poems. We can’t wait to share it with you!

Read more about Dicta here


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A couple weeks ago, we hosted a virtual concert that brought together 5 incredible Sikh artists around the theme of resisting injustice and building equity. One of those incredible artists was Harbani Kaur, our current artist-in-residence who is currently working on a project called Dicta.

In the video, Harbani shares two poems and discusses her process around creating them. She shared:

“We, as people, often view the law as a larger than us concept that we don’t quite understand or find accessible. We often also view it as the equivalent of justice. My intention with Dicta was to expose the gap between the law and justice.”

While the virtual exhibit development is still underway, we wanted to share her sneak preview from the event with you. Enjoy!


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Organization Information

International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD)

Location: Chappaqua, NY - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ICAADglobal
Project Leader:
Hansdeep Singh
Co-Founder, Director of Legal Programmes
Chappaqua, NY United States
$25,930 raised of $90,000 goal
31 donations
$64,070 to go
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