Azad Heydarov, Ph.D. candidate at the Doctoral College of Sociology.
Student at European Film College from 2015-2016
What did you do after EFC?
While studying in EFC, I came across quite a few good pieces of advice, one from Micah Magee (the directing teacher at that time), going back to learning research. I was lucky to be able to follow it. After EFC, I took one academic year break and spent time with my family. Then I began studying the Intercultural Mediation program at the University of Wrocław. It helped me develop my current mode of reflexivity to make sense of everyday life experiences anew, those encounters with representatives of diverse national cultures and European youth at EFC. Currently, I am trying to tame my horizontally expanding research interests in lifestyle migration, youth culture, consequences of labor market insecurity, computational methods in social sciences, etc.
What did the EFC experience mean to you?
EFC is the only boarding school experience of mine. Therefore I'm not able to compare it with anything else. The exceptionality of the experience is that it is, in a way, a community of practicing the Jante Law. It is unique for everyone; however, a universal experience is collectively practiced to take away with and unpack to learn reflexively at any suitable time. In my experience, green lights lit up so much during this journey that I found myself beyond the film industry. For most, I enjoy traces of the embodiment of life learning, social responsibility, and community engagement.
Is EFC a part of your life today?
I follow EFC's work as much as possible. I plan to do it more closely soon. Recently, with Jim Fernald (screenwriting teacher at EFC), we have been discussing organizing a film workshop for Ukrainian and Belarussian filmmakers in Wroclaw, Poland, with the participation of Jan Harlan. The Danish folk high school model might be instrumental in rebuilding Ukraine or other places that suffered from unfortunate events with severely damaged education systems.
In what way is film a part of your life today, if any?
I quite often use filmmaking as a tool. We started to organize documentary film workshops for social science researchers at the Institute of Sociology, University of Wrocław. Those proved helpful for conducting an in-depth study of subjects and disseminating the results. Besides, I am pleased that former EFC graduate and my close friend Faruk Bagkesen often discuss different stages of his productions with me. I look forward to my delayed jump start with Faruk and now with colleagues from the Doctoral College of Sociology.