Campaign for Community


December 2017

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By Category

#SISTREN - Is Art, or Creative Expression, a Right?

#SISTREN: salon-style discussions on rights, arts and spaces

  • November 7th on Rights: Curating an Environment to Discuss Civil Rights
  • December 5th on Arts: Is Art, or Creative Expression, a Right?
  • January 9th on Spaces: TBD

“The purpose of art,” James Baldwin wrote, “is to lay bare the questions hidden by the answers.” He might have been channelling Dostoyevsky’s statement that “we have all the answers. It is the questions we do not know.” 
-Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (2014) 

#SISTREN is a new discussion space based at Penn Law School. We look for curious, constructive and critical thinkers to take part in workshops designed to provoke interdisciplinary creativity.

Our events are themed around rights, arts and spaces. What would happen if we questioned the structures and spaces in which law is practiced? How might a creative practitioner solve contemporary challenges related to civil rights?

Art can teach lawyers something: too much of our legal practice is grounded in precedent, and past rules, forgetting sometimes that it is the future, and the art of the possible, that can animate our work. Law is treated, and often taught, as a science: strict logic imbued with the status quo. Art serves us by injecting challenge into what we take for granted. And so in deliberately fusing rights, arts and spaces, our hope is that we collectively remember to critique the strict environments in which law is performed. Those who come from other disciplines are especially welcome, in that you bring with you different bias and inspiration.

We work in a salon format, designed ‘to please or to educate.’ Our first workshop tackled ‘The Night-Time Economy:’ from security to aesthetics, liability to intimacy, our focus is shaped by thoughtful participants.

Join us for wine, nibbles and new ideas the first Tuesday of each month at the Law School (T253), 6.45pm. We care about process, and whilst we make an effort to live tweet our events, we favour active contributions. We look forward to welcoming you.

Beatriz Brown, LLM 2018