Author Archives: Nandini Aggarwal

FUNDING FOR ART COURSES PLANS TO BE HALVED

The art students across the UK have shown their concern over the Government’s plan to halve the funding for the “less-prioritized” Art courses in Universities i.e. from almost £36m to £19m. Sources also suggest that this is being done to make way for apparently “more-prioritized” courses ranging from medicine to IT.

Source: University of the Arts, London

Despite the fact that the number of students entering undergraduate courses in art and design keeps rising each year with the arts and culture industry growing by £390million in a year (as of April 2019) and contributing almost £209 billion a year to the UK economy, the Government has made this decision which is considered “destructive” and “short-sighted” by university heads speaking to Design Week. UK’s plan to “Build Back Better” to support economic growth through significant investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation not only contradicts with this bold step, but also completely rules out the industry that already contributes to UK designs being exported outside. Successful UK businesses and iconic brands such as Virgin, Jaguar Land Rover, O2, Dyson and Diageo all regard design as essential to innovation and market expansion. Considering the value of the design industry in some of the largest multi-national companies, it is almost extremely sad to come across this news.

Source: University of Bristol

In order to understand what it is like to come across such news whilst being an Arts student here in the UK, I conducted a small focus group wherein Arts students from University of Westminster came forward and spoke about it. Anjali Dalal, an MA Multimedia Journalism student who runs an Instagram Page to showcase some of her phenomenal street photography series (https://www.instagram.com/anjaliidalal/) says that 50% is too much of an amount to deduct and that stealing from ART is not a good move considering the struggles of the art students and artists who are already seen commonly starting random fundraisers to complete their projects. Marie, a first year Contemporary Media Practices student (https://www.instagram.com/throughmarieslens/) feels it’s extremely wrong of the Government to make these plans and ruin people’s dreams and passions. The agitation that these art students have shown sure calls for an increasing concern over this matter.

“I already feel that I don’t get the quality of the hands-on experience I applied for, and they want to reduce the support even more.”

Anna Miram Halasz, final year BA Film Student

Thisisintern on Instagram is already taking an initiative in raising its voice by stating “This is an attack on the future of UK arts, the creative potential of the next generation, and the people who deliver our world-leading arts courses.”. They have also recently started a petition for the same: https://www.campaignforthearts.org/petitions/stop-the-50-percent-funding-cut-to-arts-subjects-in-higher-education/ and expects people to take a stand for the potential artists.

I think it’s time for the art students to come together and save a profession that has given them a chance to be who they are and embrace their livelihood. SAVE THE ART!

Inside the world’s worst second wave

While the lockdown eases in the United Kingdom, there are countries like India which are suffering and going through a second wave of Covid-19.

Cases have significant increased in the past 60 days with an average of 357,040 every day. The number of cases had previously decreased to as low as 5000.

India’s health system seems to crush as it breaks global records. The difficulty to get access to oxygen, plasma and medical beds has led to a rapid increase in the death rate, with nearly 3498 deaths reported on April 29 alone.

Vaccinations are open to a majority of the population and all adults from May 1. But only 9% of the population is vaccinated with the first dose and just 1.8% is vaccinated with two.

Credit: Unsplash

This poses a threat to the entire nation as the medical facilities seem to deteriorate and are significantly insufficient for the entire population of the country.

Graphic created using information from Github

Indian author Arundhati Roy has criticised how the government have handled the pandemic. According to The Independent, he slammed Narendra Modi for his early triumph over coronavirus and described it as an “outright crime against humanity”.

Basic facilities such as oxygen and medicine are being sold in the Black Market according to ABC News at high prices. In turn, becoming unaffordable for the poor sections of the country.

Unsplash

In order to curb the virus, state governments have imposed lockdowns and night curfews in various hotspots in India. Restaurants continue to operate for takeaways and shops remain shut.

A large community of influential celebrities and bloggers have started using their platforms to help people connect with organisations that can help with getting basic facilities, according to The Quint.

Want to read more global COVID-19 news? Check out our interactive map.

STRONG WOMEN OF TODAY

Today, we will talk about all the strong women out there who are making their name and gaining a reputation by following their dreams and passions. Women Empowerment all the way!

This is an audio interview of Diyashi Jain, a Fashion student at University of Westminster and the owner of a small business called “MYSA”. Watch this to know more about running a small business during COVID, following your dreams and being a strong, confident woman of today:

Since we are talking about strong women of today, meet Khyati Datani, a mother of 2 young children, a child-minder by profession and the owner of an Indian Sweet Shop in London called “Shubh Aarambh”. Only a strong woman of today can manage to indulge in all these wide variety of events throughout her day. Following your dreams and doing what makes you happy is extremely important and it makes me super happy to see all these women do their role:

GO WOMEN!

Domestic Violence- a deadlier virus

The new Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) was declared a Global Pandemic on 11 March 2020 and as a result, the movement outside was restricted, schools and offices were close and while everyone thought of this pandemic as deleterious, there was a deadlier virus just around the corner.

The stay-at-home order had suddenly paved way for increasing number of cases of Intimate partner violence (IPV), thus confining the deprived women to their homes and abusers.  

The house has suddenly become the most “dangerous place” for women.

In July, the UN estimated that six months of restrictions could result in 31 million additional cases of sexual violence in the world and seven million unwanted pregnancies.

While in countries like Spain, women have started using secret codes such as “Mask-19” to address domestic violence, there are countries like Paris which saw a 36 per cent rise in violent domestic abuse cases in just one week.

However, early data shows that helplines in Singapore and Cyprus have registered a more than 30 per cent increase in calls.  In Australia, 40 per cent of frontline workers in New South Wales reported more requests for help with violence.

Domestic violence not only shatters the victim but exacerbates tensions about security, health, and money. UN has been trying to help the women out there by urging the governments to put women’s safety first:

It’s how time this issue is taken seriously and addressed correctly. What you would probably not realise is that while you took a moment to read this, some woman out there was being brutally abused and needs to have her voice be heard. Let’s work towards a change.