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Event: Storytelling as a Force for Social Change - The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights

Michaelmas of 2019 is going to be an exciting term, but as a filmmaker, I’m most excited about an event some of us at Mansfield College are organizing at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights on the 2nd of November.

‘Bayaan’ will be a half-day forum focused on the critical link between storytelling and positive social change. In collaboration with the Oxford University Media Society and the Girls Impact the World Film Festival, the forum will provide a stage for filmmakers, founders, activists, and photojournalists who have used storytelling in order to catalyse social change - both locally and internationally.

Through film screenings and panel discussions the forum aims to aid students with skills and knowledge that will allow them to use their talents - be it filmmaking, music, journalism, photography - to effectively address and generate important conversations around global human rights issues. As the only international Pakistani undergraduate at my college, I’m also thrilled I'll be able to share a short film of mine about climate change adaptation methods from Pakistan.

This will also be the first time the Girls Impact the World Film Festival will be coming to Oxford University. GITW is a film festival and scholarship program in which high school and undergraduate college students submit 3-6 minute short films that focus on a variety of global women's issues, including maternal health, microfinance initiatives, child-marriage, sex-trafficking, poverty alleviation, etc. Each film submission tells stories about girls and women that raise awareness, envision the possibilities of our time for females globally, and propose solutions, all the while providing the young adult voice an outlet in a compelling medium.

Whether or not you’re a filmmaker, I highly recommend you join us for an evening celebrating inspiring student-led projects, and the power that storytelling and the arts have in igniting positive social change.

Sarah Jehaan Khan

Mansfield College, Oxford

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