The 2020 AFIELD Fellowship was awarded to Rojava Film Commune.
The 2020 AFIELD Fellowship was awarded to Rojava Film Commune (represented by Kurdish filmmaker Sevinaz Evdike), a local film collective rooted in Rojava’s revolutionary philosophy and inspired by the Democratic multicultural self-administration in the North and East of Syria.
“In a region where culture has been suppressed constantly by central powers and terrorist organizations, where the youth has only Turkish soap operas and Syrian state television available, we aim to foster access to a diverse range of films and encourage cinema culture as a tool for social change” said Evdike.
For the past five years The Rojava International Film Festival has screened hundreds of films over several days in most cities in Rojava, as well as villages and IDP (internally displaced person) camps. The festival has allowed the region an open window to the world.
The Film Academy (which has, due to Turkish threats been in closure for the last two years) trains youth in filmmaking, storytelling and visual media paving their creating for them a possible future in photography, film or television. The Commune has also produced three feature documentaries, two fiction features and several short films, clips and spots. The society of Rojava is thus becoming increasingly used to hearing the voices of its own people in the media instead of being misrepresented from outside.
Sevinaz Evdike (1991, Syria) — a member of the Commune since 2015 — is a graduate of the Cegerxwin Academy of Art in Turkey, and director of the Rojava International Film Festival. She teaches scriptwriting and has directed the film ‘Home’ that addresses issues of children, women and remnants of war.
Council, registered in France, is an art organization devoted to fostering better understanding of societal issues. It was founded with the conviction that art produces meaningful social change and that its influence can be extended to other domains.
Council develops a long-term artistic program by partnering with thinkers and makers from different fields of action and expertise. Council commissions artworks, curates exhibitions, designs assemblies, and orchestrates educational programs.
Additionally, the fellowship AFIELD recognizes artists and cultural practitioners who develop social initiatives that benefit communities within and beyond the field of arts. Council’s program addresses issues related to health and care, gender equality, ecology, collective practices and social innovation. Through these activities, Council builds trans-local networks of creative and civically minded communities.