OSUN Student Leaders Awarded Grants for Initiatives in Community Engagement and Human Rights and the Arts
Fourteen of the grants went to young social innovators and change agents who are using the liberal arts to find solutions to local and global community challenges. Individuals receiving grants of up to $2,000 include: Abdul Walid Azizi (American University of Central Asia [AUCA], Kyrgyzstan) for Camp Afghanistan, a week-long program that improves secondary school students’ English language and leadership skills; Adib Hadi (Bard College Berlin) for Fountain Film Festival, a two-day event that provides an international platform for screening works by OSUN student filmmakers; and Yuliya Mikalutskaya (European Humanities University, Lithuania) for Bringing the Names Back, a project that preserves the memory and names of Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Minsk, Belarus.
For the first time, OSUN’s new Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College awarded eight grants of $1,000 each to students leading work, research, or engagement initiatives located at the intersection of human rights and the arts. Recipients include: Shadin Nassar (Al-Quds Bard College, Palestine) for Written Voices, a project that develops creative writing in Palestinian schools and institutions through workshops and classes and Pooja Krishnakumar (SOAS University of London, United Kingdom) for Transparent, an interactive website examining the violence faced by trans communities in India, in intersectional contexts.
Grantee Uulzhan Bekturova at AUCA is using her award to train students in photography so they can raise public awareness about the problem of domestic violence in Kyrgyzstan. This important work in the rural region of Cholpon Ata, Issyk-Kul is using photography education as a tool to inform and open up dialogue with young students about domestic violence, gender-based violence, and child abuse, all pressing human rights issues that are beginning to draw public attention. Recently, the Kyrgyz parliament made an unprecedented move by passing a bill that prevents families from pressuring domestic violence survivors to reconcile with their abusive spouses. While thousands of domestic violence cases are reported every year in Kyrgyzstan, traditional mores make it difficult for victims to file complaints against their abusers or separate from them. Bekturova’s project aims to document some of the human stories that are driving the vital legislation.
“As an output of the project I expect our trainees to be active advocates for their families and for people in the community,” says Bekturova. “I think the first thing that we must do is to improve public awareness in more remote regions, which is the reason why I am going to do my project in the Issyk-Kul region, not in the city of Bishkek, where I live.”
A complete list of the 2021 microgrant winners:
Farahnaz Abdelgawad, Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom: An Alternative Museum is a project creating a cultural institution for art making, training and exhibitions that emphasizes artistic autonomy, institutional transparency, and enhancing the access of marginalized groups.
Abdul Walid Azizi, AUCA, Kyrgyzstan: Camp Afghanistan
Uulzhan Bekturova, AUCA, Kyrgyzstan: Photography workshops in Cholpon Ata, Issyk-Kul
Aibike Bekzat Kyzy, AUCA, Kyrgyzstan: Exhibition on Women’s Rights in Osh is a three-day photography show and discussion concerning gender inequality and women’s rights that targets young girls in the city of Osh.
Aizhamal Duishonbekova, AUCA, Kyrgyzstan: Self-Improvement Club is a project that allows students from Tendik Village to develop their extracurricular interests.
Miksa Gaspar, Bard College Berlin: Awareness Week enables student groups to build community engagement in their initiatives by partnering with related projects throughout the BCB campus and the broader network.
Adeeb Hadi, Bard College Berlin: Fountain Film Festival is a two-day event that provides a platform for OSUN students interested in filmmaking so they can screen their works for a broad international audience.
Anna Haley, Bard College, New York: The Prison Media Project is a collaboration between Bard students and men incarcerated in the New York penal system, who will build and maintain a website housing media they have created together.
Dilshod Hamroboev, AUCA, Kyrgyzstan: Blogging Camp for Activists is a four-day intensive workshop focused on teaching participants how to enhance their civic engagement activism with blogging.
Nilufar Homidova, AUCA, Kyrgyzstan: Leadership and Educative Avail Project (LEAP) is an initiative providing high school and undergraduate students with information on college-level scholarships.
Maria Jose Sarmiento Isaac, Bard College Berlin: Latin (x) Club creates a safe and sustainable space for the Latin American community across OSUN.
Jessi Kao, Bard College Berlin: P and T Club provides free and easily accessible menstruation products for the BCB community by placing pads and tampons in every bathroom on campus.
Pooja Krishnakumar, SOAS, United Kingdom: Transparent Interactive Website
Rasym Maratova, AUCA, Kyrgyzstan: A Mural to Raise Awareness about Air Pollution in Bishkek will commission street artists to paint a mural on a well-traveled bridge in Bishkek, educating citizens about the causes and consequences of worsening air quality in the city, along with potential solutions.
Begaiym Mamytova, AUCA, Kyrgyzstan: This documentary film project features a 14-year-old boy from rural Kyrgyzstan whose childhood dream of becoming a boxer clashes with the impending need to earn a living through harsh physical labor.
Yuliya Mikalutskaya, European Humanities University, Lithuania: Bringing the Names Back
Janat Mukaeva, AUCA, Kyrgyzstan: Equal Access to Education is a project aiming to give orphans equal access to education.
Shadin Nassar, Al-Quds Bard, Palestine: Written Voices
Homayoon Sarwari, AUCA, Kyrgyzstan: Women’s Empowerment Through Photography Training equips Afghan women with photography, videography, and social media skills as means to career development and financial independence.
Julian Thielman, Bard College Berlin: Pankumenta is an annual two-day student- and artist-led arts festival and pop-up series.
Aleksandar Vitanov, Bard College, New York: The Musical Mentorship Initiative allows students to develop mentorship skills as they explore instrumental guidance and support local communities.
Post Date: 02-05-2021