Get the Heck to School
In 2017, I established a foundation for education of Roma girls - raising their graduation rate from 15% to 95% in her home town Bihać. Beginning with 5 children in 2017, in school year 2019/20 the fund provides scholarships for 12 and school meal for 45 children.
Project "Marš u školu" / "Get the Heck back to school" aims to provide scholarship and school meals to Bihać Roma community children, however, primarily girls. Through fundraising events and sale of my artistic work, I personally financed and directed the program since 2017 and have supported over 50 students to date.
Providing direct financial support to children, the project encourages them to complete primary school but also assists families which otherwise would make their children work alongside their parents. The project targets girls particularly, as traditional Roma communities would favor investments in boys’ education, as well as aims to eliminate the practice of early marriages which often prevent further education. Well accepted in the community, the project affects the perception of the value of education and aims to improve the life of the collective, not only targeted children.
Recently, amidst the Corona crisis - I built the first art studio in my village of Bihac, Bosnia.
The Studio Selma Selman is conceived as a long-term endeavor strategically designed to avoid past failures of attempting to transplant majority-friendly strategies to minority communities. It is structured to intervene precisely at community, city and cross-national scales.
At the community scale, the studio will construct both a physical and digital library. Out of both of these, it will host both a physical and a digital artist residency program focused on contemporary media art. Children and village occupants will be invited to attend various workshops to produce works alongside artists.