My name is Yelyzaveta Glybchenko, or just Lisa. I am 21 years old and I study International Relations and Political Science as well as Identity and Peacebuilding at the American University in Bulgaria. My greatest passion is art. Even though people tell me art and politics are incompatible, I work in the field of fine art and graphic design for social change. I started my fundraiser in order to raise funds for an internship opportunity at the Tel Aviv Arts Council in Tel Aviv, Israel.
When I was a child, I dreamed of becoming a magician. I wondered what it felt like to create beauty and power out of nothing, to create magic. I never questioned miracles of imagination, will, belief, and potential. And I tried to leave a little sparkle of that wherever I went. Time passed, and I grew up. I am looking at myself now, being nothing like what I thought I would be. But do you know what is important to take from your childhood into the rest of your life? The DREAM. I always wanted to become a magician. And when I draw or paint, I understand that I am. Art is my magic... And art can be the magic of social change for the whole world! I am currently working on a series of culture-revealing paintings (you can see the example below):
I have been recently working on Life of Colors: Color Up Peace project that transforms pictures taken all over the world into coloring pages. Changing colors is a symbolic act to fill the loss - like a child drawing in a coloring book - and create a possibility of hope. You can learn more about the project here: https://www.facebook.com/coloruppeace/
I grew up on an isolated navy base in Crimea, Ukraine: the sea and the steppe all the way to the horizon were all I ever saw (since I had never left the base) until the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. I watched Eurovision for the first time then and I heard all those songs in different languages for the first time, and they changed my life. I fell in love with the cultural affluence and diversity and I decided right then that I would go discover those cultures for myself and help them live in peace forever. It was seven years ago. And now this wish is stronger than ever before. In fact, I consider that Eurovision to be my second birthday because it showed me what I love: cultures, foreign languages, international relations, and diversity. I went on to study ten foreign languages and later to teach three of them; I won the opportunity to go on Future Leaders Exchange to the USA for a year; and I came to the American University in Bulgaria - all because of diversity. I have never yet gotten the opportunity to make a change in all the countries I wanted to, but I felt I should seize all other ones and maybe finally I would get the one.
The Israel experience will be an exigent part of my Self-Designed Major ‘Identity and Peacebuilding’, since there I will have the opportunity to get culture- and place-specific experience. I will also have the opportunity to do research for my senior thesis in the Self-Designed Major, the topic of which is Design as Politics, and work on my artwork series about cultural diversity. And Israel will help me in my future career as I aspire to become a diplomat working specifically in the Middle East region.
I often think back to that Eurovision songs and how far they led me into life. After all, it was difficult to develop this seven-year-long dream from a vague idea to a deliberate plan. It was the beginning of everything, and yet it is the only missing piece. I remember my parents always telling me that I would have all the opportunities to go to Israel one day. But I do not need all the opportunities. I only need one, the
Tel Aviv Internship one. It means the whole world to me, and in me it will mean something to the whole world.
I have already been working on art for social change as the designer for TEDx AUBG, AUBG Model United Nations, and AUBG Writer’s Guild at my university. With your help, I will be able to continue making a difference for the world with my art. Here is a book cover I designed for AUBG Writer's Guild:
Here is the original logo of teh TEDx AUBG 2016 conference at the American university in Bulgaria:
And here is the whole organizing team wearing the t-shirts with that phoenix:
For more information on my art, please visit my website: http://hlybchenkoyelyzave.wixsite.com/lisaglybchenkoart