Technological advances over the last several decades, combined with significant changes in the nature of the economy and society, have led to an unparalleled access to knowledge for the average citizen. Yet, there remains a large gap amongst individual members of society.
The Kant Institute was formed to help bridge this gap by empowering the average citizen to impact social change. At its inception it focused on national security and education, taking a multi-faceted approach to creating understanding, and building a base of knowledge that was not only insightful, but also courageous, collaborative, and frank.
The educational component has focused on the arts as the platform to impact this change, through Hidden Truths Project’s, Art as Education Program.
Hidden Truths Project (HTP) was an attempt to utilize art as an educational tool. The focus since its inception was in the area of epilepsy, with the purpose of abolishing barriers and misconstrued biases. Through exhibitions and recorded stories created by artists affected by epilepsy, art became the narrative to educate and foster understanding and empathy.
The Art of Epilepsy evolved into an international movement with artists from Australia, Canada, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Mexico, Jamaica, Spain, Sweden, India, the U.K., Philippines, Malaysia, and throughout the United States. Art has proven to be a universal language to unite this diverse group of artists, as they share their voice to impact change.
After six years of successfully using art as a tool to educate the larger population about the realities of living with epilepsy, Dr. Thompson-Dobkin decided to expand the vision of the Kant Institute to include other populations of individuals who have been marginalized in society.
“The artivist (artist + activist) uses her artistic talents to fight and struggle against injustice and oppression – by any medium. The artivist merges commitment to freedom and justice with the pen, the lens, the brush, the voice, the body, and the imagination. The artivist knows that to make an observation is to have an obligation.”
— M.K. Asante