Edition Size



Foam Block, Screenprint


Cougar Cover








Chicago, IL, Stateville Prison, IL


Aaron Hughes, Hoofprint

$ 1,200.00


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This provocative and powerful portfolio features 32 brilliantly crafted screen-prints (in a screen-printed enclosure) illustrating and presenting the texts from each article of the universal declaration of human rights. The artists ask essential questions about what it means to build a culture of human rights from below rather than institute rights from above. What happens when people who are denied their rights begin to reimagine and carve them out?

As a tool to discuss the limits and ideals of human rights within a carceral state, a diverse group of artists at Stateville Prison, who struggle daily for their own human rights, created foam block prints of each article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The process of drawing, carving, and inking each print created the time and space for artists to critique and reflect on the ways the declaration is simultaneously aspirational, strategic, and fraught with the legacy of the violence of its founding states. For universal human rights to be relevant, it is essential that the most impacted people be heard and their vision of human rights centered. For the public portfolio, these block prints were converted to a screenprint edition. The prints are unnumbered.

This project was inspired by Meredith Stern’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights print project and developed in a class taught by Aaron Hughes through the Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project. The portfolio comes with a trade book of the same name which offers a complete exploration of the larger Carving Out Rights project and includes texts by Text by Benny Rios Donjuan, Darrell Wayne Fair, Renaldo Hudson, Aaron Hughes, Alice Kim, Barbara Ransby, Christophe Ringer, Sarah Ross, and Meredith Stern, and poetry by Tara Betts, Eric Blackmon, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Martín Espada, torrin a. greathouse, Tyehimba Jess, Timothy Malone, Tony Medina, Zachary Meeks, Nikki Patin, Sonia Sanchez, and Courtney Wright.