Oxford Human Rights Festival - Resilience

Last edited by Glass Tank on 9 March 2020

Venue, Timing and Cost

The Glass Tank
Friday, 13 March 2020 to Friday, 3 April 2020
9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday

All welcome to join us for the launch of the 18th Oxford Human Rights Festival exhibition and events 2020. There will be a host of artists exhibiting photographs, sketches and crafts all representing stories of resilience from Oxford and around the world. Meet the OxHRF committee which includes CENDEP postgraduates students. Light refreshments on arrival. Donations welcome during the evening.

5pm - Music performance on arrival in The Glass Tank during arrivals will be by local musician Bruno Guastalla from Oxford Violins and part of Confluence Collective Oxford

5.30pm - Performance by drummers from the Young Women's Music Project from Oxford

6pm - Opening by The Lord Mayor of Oxford and The Young Womens Music Project (YWMP) followed by short talks from some of of the artists about their work in the exhibition.

For more information please see below:

YWMP - Zahra is the director of the Young Women’s Music Project, an educational charity that offers free workshops for women aged 14-21, which provide an inclusive and supportive space for young women to make music together, learn new skills, express themselves, and grow in confidence. As a group YWMP have been moving from strength-to-strength, performing, hosting, DJing and organising events, whilst still finding time to regularly meet and hang out. Her relationship with the project has evolved over more than a decade; she entered as a participant first, before beginning training on the project at just 16 under the guidance of her mentor Kate Garett and, eventually, coming to run it herself.

YWMP continues to expand on previous work by involving all members of the community, encouraging people to talk about their feelings, address gender imbalance and reclaim space.

Introduction to Resilience and beyond by Dr Sana Murrani is an Associate Professor in Spatial Practice and Deputy Director of the Doctoral College for the Arts and Humanities at the University of Plymouth, UK. She studied architecture at Baghdad University School of Architecture at both under-graduate and post-graduate level and completed her PhD in the UK on the subject of theoretical encounters and the critique of architectural representation and material culture under the influence of technology. She is the founder of the Displacement Studies Research Network, working at the intersection between displacement, heritage, and creativity to research, share, and enhance the impact and power of the creative agencies of displaced peoples, their culture, identity, memory, health and well-being.

The role of music and resilience by Lauren Braithwaite share stories from the Afghan Women’s Orchestra. We all use music to overcome stress and adversity, whether it’s escaping from the world through an iPod, getting lost playing the piano, or immersing ourselves at a concert. However, in many parts of the world, music can be a life-changing vehicle for fostering resilience in victims of conflict-related poverty, isolation, and trauma, and their communities. In her talk, Lauren will tell the story of Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra ‘Zohra’ who have become a symbol of freedom and hope for girls and women in Afghanistan who fight every day to defend and improve their human rights. During her time working with the orchestra, Lauren witnessed first-hand the resilience of these young women who overcome and defy family and community condemnation and even death threats to pursue their musical careers and to share a positive image of their country to the world. Lauren Braithwaite is a DPhil at the University of Oxford looking at the current place of music education initiatives in Afghanistan, funded by the Oxford Carolyn and Franco Gianturco Graduate Scholarship. In March 2017, she became Artistic Director and co-conductor of the Zohra Women’s Orchestra and led the group on tours to India, Portugal, Sweden, and the UK.

Syed Fazil Hussain from Quetta Pakistan founder of Sketch Club will be introducing his work with the Hazara community. Syed Fazil Hussain, most commonly known in Quetta as Fazil Mousavi or Sir Fazil amongst his current and former students, founded the informal setup of the Sketch Club in 2009. The purpose of the club was to give back to the society by transferring his skills and knowledge to the youth of the Hazara community. However, the vision of such an institution did not come without the hurdles. It took many years to find the perfect spot where students are inspired by the stunning views of the mountains on the roof top of a building where they have the opportunity to paint in broad daylight.

Currently, there are around 20 students enrolled and the classes run from Monday to Friday between the hours of 14:00 to 16:30. Friday’s are dedicated to theory sessions through which the students learn how to critique different paintings, build their confidence and also indulge in literature such as Krishan Chander (dubbed as the storyteller of the oppressed), Ghulam Abbas (a famous writer in classical literature of the sub-continent), Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi (known as Pakistan Renaissance Man). Moving away from fiction, the students also read essays of Ashfaq Ahmed (award winning writer from Pakistan in the field of literature and broadcasting). However, Fazil Mousavi is very mindful of the students’background,cultural values and social norms. Keeping in mind of all the elements, he only chooses the fictions that the students are able to comprehend. Through such teaching techniques, Fazil Mousavi notes that ‘the students are also members of the society and in my class, they get the opportunity to speak and they speak openly, with freedom’.

Shafiur Rahman a documentary maker and photographer from the UK will share the story of Rohingya women and a unique project called Testimony Tailors. Shafiur is a documentary filmmaker and currently working on films related to the Rohingya crisis.

He is currently on he advisory committee for Testimony Tailors. Testimony Tailors is a sewing co-operative run by Rohingya women who survived rape and massacres. They are now rebuilding their lives and families in a camp in Bangladesh. A shop with a difference: Every item you purchase here be given to a Rohingya refugee. All profits go directly to the Rohingya refugee women who make the clothes, with a small share allocated to their own sewing co-operative.

Shaifur Rahman's work on the Rohingya has been featured on CNN, BBC and other internatinal media outlets. His film on Tula Toli, Myanmar was the first documentary to highlight the Tula Toli massacre and the pre-planning around it.


FAQsIs there disabled access? Yes

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event? Please be aware that the University has introduced a new parking permit system, including a new visitor parking booking system. More information about the new parking policy is available here. We would recommend the use of public transport whenever possible.What can/can't I bring to the event? No food is allowed in the JHB Lecture Theatre.

Please be advised that photographs will be taken at the event for use on the OxHRF website, marketing materials, and other university publications. By entering this event, you consent to the University photographing and using your image and likeness. If you have any objection, talk to a member of the team on arrival to avoid being included in photographs taken at the event.

Further Information

Contact Details: 

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Multi Artform
Crafts and Applied Arts
Film and Animation
Visual Arts

Accessible Events
Children and Families
Young People