Human Rights Film and Arts Festival

The North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival occurs Nov. 13 through Nov. 18 with the film portion at the Fargo Theatre and the art opening at the Spirit Room downtown. The purpose of the event is to promote human rights and speak out against social injustice in areas stemming from LGBT, culture, race and women equality.  

The film that started off the week was “Without a Shot Fired,” a story of a tiny country that decided to do something that now other country had done before. It abolished its military and declared peace to the world. The second day of the film portion of the festival featured “Warehoused: The Forgotten Refugees of Dadaab,” an exploration of long term refugees in Dadaab Kenya – the largest refugee camps – and follows a man’s personal experience in the camp.

The event wrapped up with “Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock,” following the Sioux Tribes resistance against the United States government regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). 

Ann Burnett, a professor of Communication and the Director of Women and Gender Studies, stressed that events like the human rights festival are important parts to furthering knowledge and expanding your horizons. 

“I think, looking at the names and backgrounds of the films, that there are many important topics that people need to pay attention to,” Burnett said. “College students need to become informed. This film and art festival is a great opportunity to learn about these important topics outside of the classroom.” 

Burnett says that she thinks this style of outside learning is important. She stated that everyone needs to take the extra step to understand others and their circumstances and seek out what we as college students can do to change the world we live in. 

“I think we are living in a society that is completely uncivil. We are not very kind to each other. Life is very fragile and focusing on human rights helps us focus on more them ourselves,” Burnett said. 

The organizers of the North Dakota Human Rights Film and Art Festival intend on having the event for years to come in the attempt to highlight the topic of human rights. For more information about the event and its mission, visit 

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