I am Taraneh Dana and I am a visual artist. My dreams came true when I was accepted for Master of Arts into University of the Arts London. I am raising money to be able to pay my tuition fees and cost of living
This campaign is ran on behalf of Taraneh by her brother Siavosh.
Hi, my name is Taraneh Dana and I am a visual artist. My dreams came true on March 12th when I was accepted for Master of Arts into University of the Arts London, the second-ranked art university in the world.
As a member of Baha’i faith(1) living in Iran, I faced numerous discriminations since childhood. I was humiliated at school repeatedly, the police attacked our house multiple times and arrested one of my parents every time, and confiscated our belongings for investigations. Despite my high grades in the nationwide University Entrance Exam, I was rejected from entering universities because of my religion. Therefore, I studied at Baha’i Institute for Higher Education(2). I aimed to be an artist but due to my limited options at BIHE, I studied architecture which was the closest field of study to my real interests. A few months later, my father was sentenced to ten months of prison because of being a Baha’i. Meanwhile, I started painting professionally which brought me so much joy at such a challenging period of my life. I was hoping to be able to continue my studies as an artist later, as my only option for studying in my field of interest, painting, is by studying abroad.
I am trying my best to find a way to pay the tuition fees of the program and manage its financial matters. All of my savings are only enough for living in London for nine months. As much as I dream of going to UAL, it is not looking promising right now. I am turning to this as a last resort because the only scholarship from UAL that I am eligible for is a £5,000 tuition fee waiver which I will be applying for, but even if I get the scholarship, I still need £21,000 more for my first year of studies. I would appreciate it if you consider donating to help me turn my long-time dream of studying art into reality.
I am confident that I am capable of going through an amazing art journey and I believe that UAL can provide me with the best education I can ask for in this path. I have had unique experiences throughout my life that have made me cherish the value of higher education more than most people.
Thank you for anything you can do to help, I will not be able to study in the field of my dreams without it!
(1) An oppressed religious community in Iran
(2) An underground institute founded in 1987 as a response to the discriminatory practices by Iran's government against the Baha’is
About my project proposal and my art:
I mostly paint and draw human figures and portraits. I believe that despite the various experiences in our lives, we as humans feel similar emotions and that is how we connect. The portraits I paint reflect my strive to capture those hidden, yet familiar feelings of people around me and myself.
I traveled and explored in and out of Iran, hitchhiked and cycled thousands of kilometers, lived in different cities and villages, and met hundreds of people. While traveling, I heard stories from many people during my travels and was amazed by the shared underlying concepts in the stories despite different living conditions. In my recent research, “The Story I Did Not Tell”, I collected untold stories from members of minority communities and depicted the essence of narrators’ emotions by painting illustrations for the stories. My goal was to validate their thoughts and feelings by giving them an opportunity to share their lived experiences.
I have noticed that many members of minority communities have stories that they find hard to tell. By collecting hundreds of stories from members of oppressed groups and visualizing their lived experiences, I will research through the similar emotions that we as humans experience. As a member of these groups, I have similar struggles that have made me feel lonely due to the lack of communication between the members. I plan to research through more diverse cultures’ stories and to help people with similar challenges to feel less alone and to self-identify with the storytellers. Working on paintings based on these stories helps me to express and reflect on parts of my own similar experiences through art.
The question I will be trying to find answers for is how can art help with creating supportive communities that allow those who are less heard to express themselves. By researching through the ways that humans communicate with each other and express themselves, I will use art as a tool for bringing people closer to each other. I am hopeful that a more thorough understanding of the minority communities can help us to envision and make possible kinder cities and societies.
The course starts in September 2021 and ends in December 2022. The main costs are the tuition fees and the cost of living.
Tuition fees: in my first academic year 2021/22 are £22,920 for the course.
Maintenance: £1,200 each month, £14,400 for the first year.
In total, the cost of living and tuition fees for my first year of studies is £37,320. My savings can cover the living cost for nine months; therefore, I still need £26,520.
I will be applying for a scholarship from UAL that might wave £5000 of my tuition fee, but its application opens at the end of April and I don’t know yet if I will receive the scholarship or not.
How You Can Help:
By donating to my campaign, you will help me get closer to my dream, and of course, anything helps. There are also other ways to take part. To help get the word out, you can share the link to your Facebook Timeline or on any other social media that you use! If you know me in person, please accompany the link with a little bit of explanation about me and how my story has touched you.
I will also appreciate it if you could suggest or introduce me to people or organizations that may be able to support me financially.
More info about the program:
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