Speaker: Claudia Bernardi

Art for Political Change

Claudia Bernardi is an internationally known artist who works in the fields of art, human rights and social justice. In her work over the past two decades, she has used creative works in collaboration with communities that have suffered from violence and human rights violations.​

In 1976, when the military dictatorship took power in Argentina, Claudia was still a student at the university of art in Buenos Aires. "Those were very dark years -- very tragic, painful, and violent. The ones who survived learned to look at life, history, and art quite differently." Later, in 1992, Bernardi accompanied the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team in the investigation of a 1981 massacre at El Mozote, El Salvador. The team found remains of 143 people, 136 of whom were children under the age of 12; in addition, ballistic evidence proved that at least 27 shooters had been operating at the same time.  That experience, among others, marked a profound shift in Claudia's journey.  In particular, she began exploring how art be used as an instrument of peace.  "Art is more effective than politics," she realized.

Claudia is the founder and director of the Walls of Hope in El Salvador where children, youth, adults and the elderly create response in to their needs, hopes and desires.  That model of education and community building through art, now as the "Perquin Model", has now been successfully implanted in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, Northern Ireland and Argentina.  Her work has been showcase in many places ranging from The International World Peace Center in Hiroshima, The Centre for Building Peace in Northern Ireland, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Today, Claudia is a Professor of Community Arts at California College of the Arts.

From Argentian to El Salvador to United States, Claudia's art and teaching practices emerge from a firm commitment to peace and an unwavering belief in the goodness of people. Join us for a call to learn about Claudia's remarkable tale.

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