October 04, 2021 14:31
Meet our alumni volunteers: Zahra Fuladvand

The time has come to introduce our international alumni volunteer team with 34 people from 17 countries speaking 23 different languages. In the third chapter of our volunteer series, you can read Zahra Fulandvan’s story from Iran! She began her doctoral studies in 2017 at the Hungarian University of Fine Art and now she’s working on her dissertation and her final art project to receive the degree.

Why did you choose Hungary and the Hungarian University of Fine Art?

After I received my master degree from Tehran Art university, as an Iranian woman artist, I searched for new environment to continue my studies and my art practice. I wanted to connect with other artists in the world and studying not only in Persian, but in the language that could be understandable in other cultures. On the other hand, I was searching for a place where the cost of living and studying is cheaper than in most European cities. One day, by accident, I saw the advertisement on the website of my previous university. “Call for application for Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship”. That was exactly what I wanted to do. I applied and I got accepted by the Hungarian University of Fine Arts.

How did you like your studies? What was your favourite memory during your studies?

The four years studying in Hungary is a valuable journey for me. I had opportunities to get to know different artists, got inspired by them and work with them. I had an opportunity to present my art works in different exhibitions. One of my favourite memory is participating in “Parallel Hungary Exhibition”.

Parallel Hungary was a group project of the students from the Doctoral School of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme, led by dr. habil. Tünde Varga, and Margit Koller an artist doctoral student. We were 8 artists from all around the world: Turkey, India, Syria, Columbia, Brazil, Vietnam and Iran. We’ve been working together for a year to create an exhibition about our personal view of Hungary. I created a performance about Metro Line 2 at Budapest. The video of this performance entitled: “The mirror” was presented in this group exhibition.

How do you like the country?

Hungary is a beautiful country. I remember after visiting the Hungarian National Gallery for the first time, I was up in the hills and watched the amazing view of Danube, I closed my eyes and opened them again and telling myself, is it reality or a dream?

Budapest has a friendly environment with colourful cultures and people living together. The transportation is well organised and traveling in the city to reach different locations is easy and comfortable by using public transport or having your own bicycle. Beside Budapest, other cities in Hungary are green and attractive too. Also, visiting other countries in Europe is very easy since Hungary is located in the centre of Europe.

Do you have any difficulties with the Hungarian culture? What was that and how did you handle?

One of the significant difficulties I had during these 4 years in Hungary is the language barrier. Although many people in Budapest speak English and communicate with us easily, I feel I need to speak Hungarian – which is hard to learn – in order to gain proper communication skills and to feel that Hungary is my home.

How does the Hungarian culture differ from the Iranian/Persian culture?

For me, as an Iranian student coming from an Islamic country, living and experiencing life in Hungary is different. I feel more freedom to express myself and having my own style as a woman artist in Hungary. In my country, having your own voice is not easy since the system does not let us to have freedom to create what we want in our life.

You are among the alumni volunteers. Why did you apply for that position? What's your task and how do you manage it? What do you think about the Alumni Network Hungary?

Being a member of the alumni volunteers is an opportunity to get to know other alumni all around the world. It is a great advantage to be part of the network because I can find new relations through it.  Especially after finishing my study, the alumni network can help me to keep in touch with others through the alumni events, news and opportunities that may come in future.  As an alumni volunteer, my responsibility is to contribute in the events and tasks. We are connecting to each other through our Facebook page, website and emails. I have already participated in one workshop and I would like to cooperate within the network of alumni students during future events and workshops.

What's your plan for the future?

I would like to develop my blog, my YouTube channel, my Instagram page and my website to share my experiences in art and my life with new students who will come to Hungary. Also, I would like to continue my art projects and create more performance in a natural social environment. Beside that, I would like to transform my dissertation to the book and publish it in Iran in Persian language.

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