The Art of Influence: Breaking Criminal Traditions is a social justice initiative that calls attention to ancient, ongoing rituals which kill or maim millions of people each year yet often aren't considered crimes. By using the beauty of fine art to raise awareness of difficult topics, we can begin dialogue and support those affected by encouraging change — change that can only come from within each culture.
Art is controversial, forbidden, and oppressed because it works. It works because in the quiet intimacy of an art experience, you can try on life like you want it to be. As an artist or audience member, you can model a future without child marriage, FGM, honor killing and other human rights violations—and it's more than a model.
Art can go where the law has not. It can lead public policy through the hearts and minds of artists and their audiences. How? For artists, creation is the moment when the pain of change is suddenly less than the pain of staying the same. For audiences, the art experience challenges beliefs and proves that the strength of an idea can be measured by the amount of resistance with which it meets.