Voting closes on October 10

The Abounaddara film collective has been shortlisted for the 2014 Human Rights Tulip prize, which the Dutch government awards to innovators in the field of human rights.

Abounaddara has been selected for the collective’s “use of cinema to defend Syrians’ right to an image that is dignified and independent of political and media agendas”. This nomination, in addition to acknowledging Syrian society’s struggle for dignity, constitutes a step towards the full recognition of the right to the image as a basic human right. Today, this right is threatened by the constraints on information, the self-interest of the media, and a range of forces that exploit the images of citizens.

Such is the predicament of Syrians, who find themselves defenceless against a global media that broadcasts images of their tortured bodies without concern for their dignity or their rights. If the right to the image had been better recognised and protected, would it have been possible to infringe on an entire society’s dignity in this way?

The Abounaddara collective has been working to achieve the recognition of this right since April 2011 by producing short films that are shared online every Friday. Yet it would be foolish to believe that a handful of anonymous, volunteer filmmakers alone could deter those who are trampling on the right of the Syrian people to their own image on the world’s screens. And this is why the Collective is calling on people around the world to support us by voting here.

For more information on Abounaddara and the Human Rights Tulip: