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Volunteering Opportunities


Why volunteer with Ettijahat- Independent Culture?

By volunteering with Ettijahat you will gain experience in several fields:

  • Participating in various projects and artistic programmes
  • Working directly with refugees and less developed communities, and gaining experience in building relationships with host communities
  • Organisation and management of cultural projects alongside artists and cultural activists
  • Acquiring planning and lobbying skills in the field of cultural policy
  • Contributing to the organisation of capacity-building exercises in cultural training and research
  • Integrating cultural work with civil work

 

How can I volunteer with Ettijahat- Independent Culture?

There are volunteering opportunities with several Ettijahat Independent Culture programs:

1-Cultural Priorities in Syria

We see the ongoing transformations in Syria not just as political, but also as cultural at their core. However, we understand that culture will not be a priority for decision makers in the upcoming period in Syria, as a result of the many priorities that fall under the responsibilities of the politicians in charge of leading the transition (regardless of their political stances).

Therefore, the duty falls to independent institutions, activists, and researchers to bring culture to the table of political debate and to apply the pressure that will enable cultural practices to flourish and help culture become an important element in the reconstruction phase of Syria’s identity and personality.

Up until now, the inability of the cultural sector to come up with precise recommendations for Syrian cultural practise shows its inability to reconsider the frameworks, rules and mechanisms by which it is governed, and then replace them with institutions that better reflect current transformations (although this process has already begun). It shows the sector’s inability to move towards free legislation and a democratic system that protects freedom of speech and strengthens the concept of "culture as a right for every Syrian citizen". It also highlights the fact that we as independent players have, so far, not been able to transform into a real lobby group able to effect change.

In 2014, Ettijahat published a document on cultural priorities in Syria after a prolonged and intermittent research period that was conducted over roughly a year and a half, and which covered a diverse body of academic study as well as field research, including the results of an analyses of 120 artists’ and cultural activists’ opinions. The research aims to develop a unifying proposal regarding the present role of arts and culture in Syria, as well as their role in the near future. The proposal aims to increase the impact of independent arts and culture in particular, on a social, humanitarian, and cultural level, for both the immediate and mid-term futures. This is expected to build solidarity between independent artists and cultural activists, allowing common goals to be established and to develop into what could be “an alternative cultural policy”. 

The document was based on a range of research studies, of which the primary sources were: “Cultural Tools and Production in Times of Crisis: Syria, Iraq and Lebanon”, by Dr. Marie Elias; “The Role of Arts and Culture in Reconciliation and Achievement of Civil Peace in Countries that Witnessed Severe Conflicts”, by researcher Rama Najma; and “Toward Development of Cultural Infrastructure in Syria”, by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research.

Volunteering Opportunities:  helping to implement and conduct surveys, helping to organise workshops.

 

2-Cultural Policy in the Arab Region Programme

(A regional coordinator and editor for the “Cultural Policy in the Arab Region” Culture Resource's programme)

Ettijahat- Independent Culture acts as regional coordinator and editor for the “Cultural Policy in the Arab Region” programme, which was launched by Culture Resource (al-Mawrid al-Thaqafy) in 2009. Ettijahat’s role includes working with advocacy groups in ten Arab countries to coordinate their work and support them to achieve their goals in the development and activation of transparent and democratic cultural policies in their countries.

Twice a year, Ettijahat issues a report about developments in the region regarding cultural legislation, infrastructure, funding, production and creativity, in addition to core changes that are expected to affect cultural work in the ten Arab countries participating in the programme.

Ettijahat also launched in partnership with al-Mawrid al-Thaqafy, a regional database on the various activists and organizations relating to cultural policy in the Arab region (http://www.arabcp.org/site/index), which is an open platform for individuals and organizations working directly or indirectly toward changing cultural policy, whether on a national scale or within the wider international region.

Volunteering Opportunities:  Collecting and publishing news on the program’s website, preparing paperwork on certain topics

 

3-Research. To Strengthen Culture of Knowledge

This annual programme builds capacity and provides young researchers with the opportunity to focus on research and cultural studies. The programme aims to boost the skills of selected researchers, guide them, and provide them with the opportunity to achieve a research project (usually their first such research after their formal education) supervised by specialist, veteran cultural researchers who form the Scientific Committee of the programme. The programme lasts seven to eight months, and consists of three main stages: 1) selection of young researchers and provision of training materials, 2) training and enhancing skills, and 3) conducting research under the supervision of specialised researchers.

The young researchers are selected through an open call, in which Ettijahat explains the context of the research projects as follows: Syrian history over recent decades has led us to believe that politics and political practice are the main tools for progress and development of society, and that politicians are the only people who can lead development and bring about change. Experience has taught us, however, that it is culture and creative people that develop society. That is why all efforts must be made to strengthen the work of cultural institutions and support those working in the cultural field.

Volunteering Opportunity: Preparing the annual call for proposals and responding to applicants

 

4-Emerging Artists Initiative

Ettijahat works to design programmes to support talented young Syrian refugees through long-term artistic training programmes. The basic principle behind this programme is the importance of transforming young Syrian refugees from the targeted victims into active authors of their own fates, with the capacity to initiate action to the benefit of others around them. This initiative creates opportunities for Syrian artists and fosters cultural initiatives. Our aim is to present serious and profound artistic proposals, grown organically from Syrian citizens’ lives in asylum, outside the framework of rapid assessment.

Through the Emerging Artists Initiative, Ettijahat has partnered with various cultural institutions focused on providing continued support for talented Syrian refugee artists, particularly in the areas of creative writing and a variety of different theatre forms. Ettijahat is also developing a continued strategic cooperation with the “Action for Hope” initiative, integrating their work with the training of skills development.

The Emerging Artists Initiative is also working to develop employment opportunities within the creative sector for Syrian artists residing in Syria and Lebanon, to contribute to the impact of the arts on the lives of Syrians.

Volunteering Opportunities: Helping to arrange various activities on behalf of Ettijahat and assisting in workshops.

 

What other benefits are there?

By participating in one of our initiatives or projects, you will gain the following benefits:

  • Experience in the cultural management sector
  • An accredited work reference
  • Per diem (a monetary allowance)
  • You will have priority in working directly with the foundation’s programmes and activities, or those that are linked to the foundation

 

How can I contact Ettijahat- Independent Culture?

For inquiries or volunteering applications please send any questions or completed forms to: info@ettijahat.org

 

The Volunteering Application Form can be downloaded through the links below:


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