Defender of Human Rights

Amongst many attributes, art can highlight and document what has been and what is happening in the world around us.   

Gianluca Costantini uses his artistic skill to share people’s life stories, perspectives and causes.

Championing and supporting people's rights are on the tip of Costantini's pen. With fluid and compassionate lines, the artist depicts the portraits of activists, human right defenders and those that have been detained. His work is concerned with fairness, his drawings and portraits release ink dripping with the aim to help those that have faced injustices, and to highlight any discrimination, war or violence.

Gianluca Costantini’s art transcends all politics, it concerns itself with human rights for all; that every single person, no matter where in the world one comes from, has access to their human rights. Human rights are our natural rights, when we are born, we inherit them. 

Attributed to Voltaire in the book “The Friends of Voltaire” by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, who’s pen name was S. G. Tallentyre, the writer recalls in the book, the now well known quote: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, a quote which could sit at the core of the right to expression. In defending activists rights through art, artists are also defending all our rights. Perhaps not of today's but maybe of tomorrow’s. 

As Costantini’s lines makes its way around a piece of paper, we follow his marks, as they gather us closer to understanding a portrait’s circumstance and what is happening in the world, opening the viewer onto empathy and perspectives through art, art by Gianluca Costantini which is coated in a drive to see a more just world.









Books: 'Patrick Zaki, Una Storia Egiziana' by Gianluca Costantini and Laura Cappon and 'L'ammaestratore di Istanbul' by Elettra Stamboulis and Gianluca Costantini

Book: 'Human Rights Portraits' by Gianluca Costantini



Gianluca Costantini, photographed by Richard Lahuis 

Gianluca Costantini is an activist artist who has been fighting his battles through drawing for years. He actively collaborates with the organizations ActionAid, Amnesty, ARCI and CPJ Committee to Protect Journalist and with the main human rights festivals, including the HRW Film Festival in London and New York, the FIFDH in Geneva and the Human Rights Festival in Milan. From 2016 to 2019 he accompanied with drawings the activities of DiEM25 Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, the movement founded by Yanis Varoufakis and collaborates with the artist Ai Weiwei. In 2019 he received the Amnesty International “Art and Human Rights” award. He has published for many Italian and international newspapers including: Internazionale, Corriere della Sera, Domani, Oggi, La Lettura, CNN, Drawing the Times, LeMan, ABC Australia, Mekong Review, Courrier International, Le Monde Diplomatique, World War 3 Illustrated . Among his latest publications, Patrick Zaki, an Egyptian story (Feltrinelli Editore, 2022), Libya (Mondadori, 2019). Edizioni BeccoGiallo has released Fedele alla linea, Pasolini's secret diary, Pertini in the clouds, Arrivederci Berlinguer, Dinner with Gramsci,  Human Rights Portraits, Amnesty International Italia. 





Find out more about Gianluca Costantini's work here: 

All images copiright © Gianluca Costantini