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‘Reclaiming Civic Space’ New Edition of Sur

On January 16th, 2018 Channel grantees Fund for Global Human Rights (FGHR) and Conectas Human Rights launched a collaborative production Sur 26: Reclaiming Civic Space, the 26th edition of Sur-International Journal on Human Rights.

This special edition is authored by activists for activists: “It documents the resistance of human rights groups during a time of increasing repression and restrictions on civil society, and offers key insights on the strategies frontline activists are using to reclaim civic space.”

This edition responds to the fact that “research about the global crackdown on civil society often focuses on how the crisis has manifested and its impacts. Little has been documented about the ways national-level civil society groups are responding to shrinking civic space, or the effectiveness of these response.” 

In order to shift the conversation, Conectas and FGHR, brought together a dozen author-activists at a writers’ retreat in Sao Paulo in 2017. During this retreat, authors examined global and regional trends in closing space, discussed and shared their strategies and reviewed and provided feedback on each other’s text.

Featured within this edition, activists Ana María Hernández Cárdenas and Nallely Guadalupe Tello Mendez from Consorcio Oaxaca (another Channel grantee partner) co-authored “Self Care as a Political Strategy” discussing sustainability and well-being for women human rights defenders.

Along with numerous other articles, Sur 26 also published a video essay in multiple languages that delves into strategies for resistance.