Trent’s newly-founded Amnesty International Chapter started a new tradition through its Art Showcase – celebrating the work of local and Trent-based artists.
The event, which was hosted virtually this year, was part of the organization’s Black History Month celebrations and was themed From History to Now. Through listening, learning and appreciating, students had the opportunity to engage and showcase art tailoring to Black History and the culture.
“It was a celebration of Black History Month, filled with lots of inspiration and personal stories. An amazing night to honour the Black history and culture,” says Sreeja Jonnalagadda, president of Amnesty International’s Trent Chapter and a third-year Biology major in the Medical Professional Stream.
Creating a sense of community
Trent’s Amnesty International Chapter is 100% student-run, and organizes events, campaigns and discussions to engage students, faculty and alumni on social challenges relating to human rights violations.
With more than 40 attendees, this event was one of the Chapter’s biggest to date, and featured the work of ten talented artists – ranging from live music performances to descriptions of artwork and paintings, as well as poetry readings. The show was broken down into three sections with various forms of interactions between the audience and performers.
“It was amazing to see such an engaged and thoughtful community that recognized the work put in by the artists. It was a comfortable space where everyone’s thoughts and ideas were shared, and the input from the audience was encouraging and inspiring,” says Mridul Harbhajanka, a second-year student majoring in Cultural Studies and Philosophy, who shared her musical talents as well as a self-directed movie on the struggles of isolation during our present pandemic.
Bringing past and current students together
“I’ve been playing music my entire life, but always took it as a ‘serious hobby’,” says musician, Bethlehem Bekele (Artist Name: Bethlehem B.), a Trent alumna and one of the artists showcased at the event. “Last year, I decided to believe in myself enough to pursue it as a career. I’m so grateful to have the time and space to let my mind run free and see what I end up creating.”
During her time at Trent, Ms. Bekele was very active in a number of student clubs and groups, and saw this event as the perfect opportunity to reconnect with her peers and showcase her music. “My experience performing with Amnesty International was great! The audience was incredible and it was nice to see familiar faces from Peterborough since my favourite part of living there has always been the people I met.”
Keep an eye on the Chapter’s social media platforms for news on future events.