Events

How Can Artists Help Shape More Humane Drug Policies?

An artist, an author, a policy expert, and a member of the itinerant Museum of Drug Policy discuss the many impacts of the global drug trade and efforts to control it.

The Museum of Drug Policy in Montreal in May 2017. (photo © Roger LeMoyne / Redux for the Open Society Foundations)
The Museum of Drug Policy in Montreal in May 2017 (photo © Roger LeMoyne / Redux for the Open Society Foundations)

Tuesday, June 26, is International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, an occasion established in 1987 by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness of and seek solutions to the myriad issues caused by drugs. While these problems have hit home for the art community for decades, the opioid crisis in particular has become the subject of a sustained campaign spearheaded by artist Nan Goldin due to OxyContin’s ties to arts philanthropists Mortimer and Raymond Sackler. These and other problems stemming from the drug trade will be the focus of an event on Monday at the Open Society Foundations that seeks to imagine creative ways that artists and the arts community can affect drug policy.

A sculpture made of guns on view at the Museum of Drug Policy in Mexico City in May 2018 (photo © Janet Jarman / Redux for the Open Society Foundations)
A sculpture made of guns on view at the Museum of Drug Policy in Mexico City in May 2018 (photo © Janet Jarman / Redux for the Open Society Foundations)

One of the projects to be highlighted at Monday’s talk is the Museum of Drug Policy, a roving initiative that has popped up in New York, Montreal, Mexico City, and London of late. Through visual art and performances, it addresses how different communities throughout the world are affected by drug policies. In addition to showcasing prints from the Museum, the evening’s conversation — between poet and memoirist Reginald Dwayne Betts, conceptual artist Jesse Krimes, and the Director of the Open Society Global Drug Policy Program Kasia Malinowska — will be moderated by its production director, Daveen Trentman. The conversation will address both the needs of those dealing with addiction to the dangers faced by populations caught up in the dragnet of global drug control policies and policing.

When: Monday, June 25, 5:30–7:30pm
Where: Open Society Foundations — New York (224 West 57th Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

The Museum of Drug Policy in London in November 2017 (photo © Megan Taylor for the Open Society Foundations)

More info at the Open Society Foundations.

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