Governance & Accountability

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Governance & Accountability

Governance & Accountability

A government accountable to its citizens is one of the cornerstones of an open society—helping to ensure fairness, economic equality, and civic participation. The Open Society Foundations work with governments and businesses to advance transparency, rule of law, and good governance around the world.

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Luz del Día: Copyrighting the Light of Day


A film frame with a man wearing glasses.

La Lucha por Ser Madre, 2017

La Lucha por Ser Madre is based on a photograph of a protest of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo (Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo), an association of Argentine mothers whose children were disappeared during the Argentine Dictatorship (1976–1983). They began marching in 1977 at the Plaza de Mayo, in front of the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires, in order to protest the disappearances.

This artwork is created from the archive of 2,540 scanned negatives Stephanie Mercedes is digitally altering and re-copyrighting in order to donate the images back to the public domain.

© Stephanie Mercedes

in this society, on this earth, in this day


Dread Scott standing while being sprayed by high-pressure water jets.

On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide, 2014
Still photograph from a live performance

On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide is a performance that was staged in Brooklyn, New York, in 2014 and referenced the 1963 Civil Rights struggle in Birmingham, Alabama. During these protests, the United States government—in an excessive display of force—used high-pressure water jets from fire hoses against non-violent protesters and bystanders. Such attempts to silence and suppress opposition against racist government policies were part of larger efforts to maintain segregation and legalized discrimination.

In the performance, the artist alludes to this history and the perpetual nature of the struggle for freedom by making a Sisyphean attempt to walk forward while being repeatedly battered by water from a firehose.

The performance references a historical moment that most people today have only experienced through black and white photographs documenting the event. It enlivens a past and presents inescapable parallels to contemporary movements against racism, such as those witnessed on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, in response to the police murder of Michael Brown.

© Dread Scott

Moving Walls 24

The artists, journalists, documentarians, and advocates in Moving Walls 24 / Here We Are: Visual Resistance and Reclaiming Narratives engage with art and documentary practice as forms of resistance.


Open Society Voices

How the EU Is Failing Whistleblowers

October 13, 2017 Peter Matjašič

In order for governments to be held accountable, those who flag corruption from the inside must be supported and protected from retaliation. In this respect, unfortunately, the EU and many member states are falling short.

What’s in Your Drinking Water? Too Many People Still Don’t Know

October 2, 2017 Elizabeth Moses

This year’s International Right to Know Day was a reminder that despite the progress that’s been made, far too many people still don’t know the basic information they need to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy.

Azerbaijan’s Wrong Turn

September 29, 2017 Melina Milazzo

Authorities in Baku appear to be newly reinvigorated in their war on Azerbaijani dissidents living in exile. A recent alleged kidnapping and a new report each offer a disturbing reminder of this rising threat to human rights.

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The director of the European Union Agency on Fundamental Rights, Michael O’Flaherty, joins a discussion with Felice Gaer, a distinguished U.S. human rights jurist.