Thursday, September 14, 2006

Borders to respect and borders to break.

Freedom and human rights are beyond all borders. Preceding true peace, freedom is at the core of human life. Yet while fascism violates all borders the left still tries to justify its limitations in the face of widespread human rights abuse. In the age of instant, real time communication with an internet free of access and content control, abuses no matter where found can no longer be hidden.

Diane Carrière, born in Quebec, Canada, lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. contact

"After my university studies in graphic arts and painting, I dedicated my art work to the basic social issues of justice, freedom and human rights. In the in1990’s, I produced two solo exhibitions depicting the masculine condition in our societies. I noticed that with the rise of feminism and in spite of all the positives it had generated, it was now evolving into a new segregation, one based on gender in the Quebec society. A movement worth exploring.

In January 2001, I extended my interest to include conflicts affecting human rights at a global scale. I became interested in the new wave of global anti-Semitism that was growing unchecked.
However following the September 11 attack of that year, I re-oriented my art research on events related to the relationship between the free world and fascism in Islamic nations. The Jewish population was no longer the main target of fascism and religious fanaticism from the Islamic ranks: all westerners were declared legitimate targets by jihadis and their supporters around the world. This attack on human rights prompted me to focus on the relationship between the development of terror and the struggle for human freedom through democratic means.

On August 8, 2003, a Canadian Dr. William Sampson was freed from the hell of a Saudi Arabian prison where he had suffered unimaginable torture during 18 months in solitary confinement. The Saudi authorities had incarcerated him for a crime probably committed by Al Qaeda. My portrait of Dr. Sampson was the first of a series of large format works on the broad theme of terror.

How my teaching experience influenced my art research. Between 1990 and 1995, I had the privilege to teach French to Canadian Public Service employees, and the military at all levels in many departments in Ottawa. Discussions over five years with these second language students about all aspects of their work revealed the considerable gap between the media perspective, the words of politicians and the actual policies and actions of the government.

This political reality and the challenges to governments became a compelling force in my work as crucial events on the international scene increasingly dominated the world’s attention - the fall of the Berlin Wall, the bankruptcy of the U.S.S.R., and in the Middle East, the rebirth of Yasser Arafat through the Oslo Accord (1993).

In the past four years, the vast source of information available through the Internet and the worldwide explosion of ‘blogs’ has provided an invaluable new tool to help connect us with the world and understand it better. The new access to information transformed my traditional research approach. Soon, and as a natural consequence to exploring the web, I started to write for several websites, among which the collaborative ‘blog’, Arts for Democracy.

While the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime allowed Iraqis to finally connect with the world, those outside were discovering the horrors that Iraqis had endured for decades. The massive abuses of human rights were unveiled through numerous testimonies while mass graves were unearthed. It is estimated that over one million Iraqis’ went missing’ through executions, wars and defections. Three to four hundred of thousand of the missing are believed buried in these sand cemeteries.

Between 2002 and 2006, I completed 19 paintings on the fight against fascism. The subjects of these pieces are Iraqis searching for their loved ones in the mass graves and coalition soldiers at work. Recently I started another series on the present global threat to human rights.

1986 - 1990 Bachelor degree in graphic arts and painting. Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), Gatineau, Québec (Que).
1985 - 1986 Studies towards a Bachelor degree in education. Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), Gatineau (Que).
1984 - 1985 Studies in Education specialized in intellectual deficiency. Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario (On).
Professional Experience
2006 - 2002 War Portraits, Arts for democracy - Portraits de Guerre: A contemporary art research project on freedom and human rights. Research on international events related to security strategies and the democratization of dictatorial nations. Extensive publication of research and paintings in my own websites and other internet blogs.
1990 - 1996 French language tutorial for the Honorable Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Parliament, Ottawa (On). / Adult Second language training. École de la Cite, Ottawa (On). École Interlangues, Ottawa (On). École Gérard Caron. Vanier, (On).
1988 - 1990 Co-director and coordinator of the UQO Galerie - Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau (Que).
1987 - 1988 Director and coordinator of the art events at the bistro-gallery, Aux Quatre Jeudis. Gatineau (Que).
(Large paintings)
2005 Portrait de Louise Lafrenière, Galerie de Portrait, La Filiature, Gatineau (Que)
1996 Du Vent dans la Bouche, Wind blowing in the Mouth.Axe Neo-7, centre d'artistes, Gatineau (Que).
1995 Du Vent dans la Bouche, Wind blowing in the Mouth. Gallery Château Logue, Maniwaki (Que) -
1990 Hommes de Pouvoir, Men and Power. UQO, Gatineau, (Que).
1989 La Grâce et la Sentence, trio with artists, Josée et Dominique Dubeau, UQO Galerie, (Que)
1988-1990 Administration Board - Art Gallery ’Axe Neo-7, Gatineau (Que).
1987 Amnesty International, promotional work.
13 illustrations - Les Petites Mains, Enfants du Mexique, Jean-Louis Grosmaire, Edition Vermillion
1995-1996 Leçons de peinture - Leçons de vie, Painting Lessons-Life Lessons, Richard Gagnier - Axe Neo-7
1989 Nov. /Dec. Front page illustration of the science fiction magazine Solaris - Les frères jumeaux, mixte média.
1979 Illustration for the magazine Québec Sciences

Portfolio, past exhibitions

Research published in blogs:

Arts for Democracy series – six websites with the contributions of six Americans and Canadians:
AFD, Search, Difficult Images, Pro-freedom Artists, The Killing Zone, Drive on C.F.
Companion blogs:
Testing Human Rights – U.S. “The In T Views” – U.S., “Iraq Blogger Central” – U.S., “The Infidel Bloggers Alliance” – U.S.

Reviews in 'blogs':

Pictures Speak A Thousand Words by Kat in The Middle Ground
Art Works When All Else Fails by FurtherAdventuresof Indigo Red
Diane Carrière's Arts For Democracy by Bill Putman, An independent look at Iraq

Note: The list below offers a few links that will provide information on democracy and terror covered in my art works.

Democracy, peace, autocracy and fascism.
Power Kills, Dr. RJ. Rummel
Democractic Peace, Dr. RJ. Rummel
Counter Terrorism Blog
Shadow of Terror, Children's Arts
Little Green Footballs

Iraq –Mass Graves, photos
Saddam’s Files
Iraqi Holocaust
Saddam the Real Weapon of Mass Destruction
Iraqi Memory
Iraqi memory - Arts
Iraq Foundation
Iraq the Model

Steven Vincent 1955 U.S. - 2005 Iraq
Art critic, journalist and writer: murdered in Basra Iraq.
In The Red Zone, Steven Vincent’s blog
The Steven Vincent Foundation
Steven Vincent: Bloggers remember one of their own - Kesher Talk
Freedom’s Reporter - NRO
Steven Vincent - Center for Media & Democracy
Remembering Steven Vincent - Special Report
Steven Vincent, a compendium
The Funeral of Steven Vincent in East Village, NY
Articles, art critics

Fascism in Iran
National Council of Resistance of Iran - Foreign Affairs Committee National
Regime Change
Free Thoughts
US Alliance for Democratic Iran (USADI)
Human Rights in Iran