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Mens Artium is inspired by the work of human rights defenders, humanitarians, creators, and artists around the world. We are a community-based and non-profit project that is active at the nexus of human rights, restorative justice, and the arts.

The idea for Mens Artium was born in the summer after Christine Nikander attended a course on human-centered design and social innovation at the Columbia Entrepreneurship Design Studio in New York. Christine studied human rights and restorative justice in university, and she has been making art for as long as she can remember. Mens Artium is the product of experiencing how art can be used to deal with both first- and second-hand trauma.

The name “Mens Artium” comes from Latin and loosely translated refers to the intention or the reason of the arts. Mens Artium is based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

Who are our art workshops for?

Our art workshops are intended for survivors of any type of human rights abuse, including but not limited to:

  • survivors of physical or psychological intimidation and violence

  • survivors of war and armed conflicts

  • survivors of ethnic cleansing and genocide

  • survivors of domestic abuse, sexual harassment, and rape

  • survivors of hate crimes

  • survivors of bullying and workplace harassment

  • survivors of gender or identity-related mistreatment

  • survivors of natural and environmental disasters

  • political refugees and asylum seekers

  • individuals who have experienced secondary trauma from any of the above

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