Artists have long played powerful roles in social movements, with the click of a camera or stroke of a paintbrush having the potential to bring about social change. It is for this reason that the Justice Centre Hong Kong, a non-profit human rights organisation, set up the Human Rights Arts Prize, an annual event that celebrates the power of art as a catalyst for social change. Now in its seventh year, the 2021 event – themed “Shared Future” – is co-hosted by the European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao, with support from the Goethe-Institut Hongkong. The 33 artworks shortlisted are by both established and emerging Hong Kong artists, in a diverse range of media and covering issues from the treatment of minorities in the city and the global refugee crisis to mental health and LGBT rights . Justice Centre executive director Melanie McLaren says art and human rights have a long shared history. “We’ve seen powerful art come out of difficult times,” she says. “Day to day, we work with refugees and survivors of torture, human trafficking and forced labour, and we hope that the art through this year’s shortlist continues to spark discussion around these issues and other injustices.” The selected works are by artists hailing from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including refugees. In keeping with the Justice Centre Hong Kong’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, judging for the shortlist was done blind, with the jury not given access to the artists’ age, experience, gender, name or nationality. The winner receives a cash prize of HK$35,000 (US$4,500) with two runners up receiving HK$7,500 and HK$5,000, respectively. Among the other prizes are the InkluVision Award, which recognises an inclusive society, and a student category. The winner will be announced on June 8 and exhibited works will be available for purchase via auction, with 80 per cent of all proceeds supporting the centre. Shortlisted artworks will also go on show at the Goethe-Institut Hongkong until June 30, with a virtual walk-through of the exhibition accessible via the Justice Centre Hong Kong and Goethe-Institut Hongkong’s websites. Previous Human Rights Arts Prize winners include Elva Lai , for a photography project about Hong Kong people’s shared history as refugees; Xyza Cruz Bacani , for her photo series on the city’s domestic workers; and Ducky Tse Chi-tak, for his pictures on ethnic minorities and labour rights. For more information, visit justicecentre.org.hk.