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UCG alumna candidate for the Ben Feringa Impact Award

23 May 2022
Deborah Fidder
Deborah Fidder

UCG alumna Deborah Fidder has been nominated for the Ben Feringa Impact Award. The Award was created to distinguish research projects with demonstrable social impact and will take place this year at the Forum Groningen.

The submissions have been judged on three criteria: Impact, collaboration with non-university partners and the quality of the scientific output of the project.

Deborah was nominated in the 'student' category for her documentary Gewoon Kwetsbaar (Dutch for Simply Vulnerable). This was her thesis project in 2021 and was about identity search and its impact on your mental well-being.

Read below an interview with Deborah and watch her documentary in Dutch.

Tell us a little bit about you: when did you graduate from UCG and what are you doing at the moment?

My name is Deborah Fidder, I'm 24 years old and I graduated from UCG in the summer of 2021. Currently I am doing my Masters in journalism, which I will finish in 2023.

What was the idea behind Gewoon Kwetsbaar?

I believe art is a beautiful way to educate and connect people. With art you can tell a story which people can relate to, or it can either guide you into a new world which you do not know yet. I wanted to make something that represents people truly the way they are. And next to that, I believe people still find it difficult to talk about mental health issues. While people function differently, and there is no shame in talking about this and admitting this.

What have you learned about identity and its impact on mental health?

I have learned that every human being is different and functions differently. We need diversity in order to have a well-functioning society. However, the topic is so complex. You cannot draw concrete conclusions, or give specific solutions in order to solve mental health issues. I believe it is important to listen to each other and respect each other, as everyone has different needs and wants in life. I also believe it is most important to be kind to each other.

Your documentary was part of your bachelor thesis. Why did you pick such a complex topic?

I have always been active in creative projects and activities next to my studies. Therefore, for my graduation I wanted to make something big, and I decided to make a documentary. Also, I thought writing a thesis would be boring, and in order to make it more fun I wanted to make something art-based. Next to art I am interested in human behaviour: why do people do certain things, or make certain decisions? I have always been interested in happiness and the stories behind people, and so I came up the topic of my thesis. And eventually, this became the story of the documentary.

What is on the cards for you? What are you planning to do next?

Currently I am in the first year of my Masters in Journalism, which will be over in a month. I will enjoy my summer break with friends and family on vacation, and then in September I will start my Master thesis. After I have finished my masters I am hoping to work for the VPRO and produce more films and stories.

Last modified:23 May 2022 10.36 a.m.

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