Hello, I am Dorra Borgi currently a PhD student, I studied sciences and technology of design, where I have specialized in graphic design. As I was passionate about illustration, I started to work as an illustrator of children’s books, while studying my specialty, which is something that I am still passionate about and working on until this moment. (Children’s books in the Arab world aren’t that developed as they are still discovering it, and I do feel the urge to enhance its quality for that I am still working on, even in foreign Arab countries)
After graduation, I begin my master in art and communication while studying special effect and animation, and to develop more my knowledge, I started working in an audio-visual production for a year. Then I became an assistant in the University of fine art, and the higher Institute of Arts and Multimedia for three years.
However, I wanted to develop more on my skills and researches for that I became a freelance designer to be able to start my PhD research.
As the revolution happened, the youth movement in Tunisia has completely changed and turned into an active one that wants to be involved in all sort of activities and discover as much as they could. So, as a designer, I felt that I had a certain responsibility to take part of creating a new ecosystem in the country that will include art, and use it as a tool to build a better future, and not consider it as just something fun to do. For that, I chose the subject of the contribution of designer in the new militant practices in Tunisia.
My point is, the youth are using the social media and they managed to create a certain power that can put pressure on the government (in our case, it made a whole revolution) , so we should reconsider the role of a designer who is a professional in such tools, in this society. We should rethink their roles as they can be a symbol of resiliency and innovation. And this was a turning point for me, where I started to participate in different research programs that are based on the youth in Tunisia and the MENA region (such as Sahwa, GDRI…) where we made different studies through focus groups, interviews… in different regions in Tunisia. The latter, helped me to discover new aspects of the youth of my country and allowed me to have a larger important network.
What I concluded is that the youth are trying hard to change the current situation of the country into a better one. However, they are not finding a suitable ecosystem that can match their ambitions and expectations. And in order to change that, I took part in different civil society organizations, that focus on education of children and mainly those in need, where we created a system that provides a certain financial and psychological stability for them. We want to prepare them to be as the promising next generation.
One of my favorite, enriching experience is working as a responsible for creative workshops in ergotherapy in the department of Forensic Medicine at Errazi Psychiatric Hospital, where I litteraly dealt and worked with people who have serious psychiatric issues ( Some of them killed their families, or trying to kill themselves all the time… ), my job was to make them see things from an artistic point of view, through giving them different exercises that will help them gain self-confidence and stability. Also, I focused on their communication skills and worked on developing it through different artistic activities, to help them get over their depression. My best part was the result, where we, actually, where impressed with what they turned into, and the fact that, when we started doing this they were refusing it, but then they became interested in it, and wanted to do this all the time, that they will be upset if I don’t come for a week!
So, for now, I am still as curious as I always was to learn more, I want to know more people who are trying innovative solutions to resolve the current crisis, new ways to animate the society and mainly the “forgotten” regions, and be part of creating a whole, new active ecosystem that will include art and design in its cores, and not just something aside seen as a unimportant activity.