The candidates for president of ISFiT 2021

The list of candidates grows longer as ISFiT looks for its new president.

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ISFiT 2019 has come to a close, it is time to choose whom is to lead the 2021 festival. With three announcements of candidacy being made in three successive Samfundsmøter, and more candidates adding their names to the list, a tough choice will have to be made in Storsalen the coming Wednesday.

The election happened on 20.03.2019, read about the results here.

President of ISFiT 2019, Tyler Stewart, encourages everyone to cast their vote in the upcoming election.

– In a sense, this is the only democratic element of the festival. From here on in it is a dictatorship; hopefully with a benevolent dictator, the soon-to-be ex-president jokes.

After two years on the job, Stewart knows better than most what the new president is facing.

– It has been a fantastic learning experience! But when you first start out, you have no experience in the things that is demanded of you.

Despite the steep learning curve, Stewart assures us that his time as president of ISFiT 2019 has left him with many good memories.

– Much of what i’m taking away from this is the friends I’ve met. I mean… the WORK is in many ways gone, but the friendships that’s been made will remain!

Drinking with diplomats

While the life of an ISFiT president has included taking UN-diplomats out for beers - and if Stewart is to be believed - a shot of fireball or two, the new president will have a lot of work ahead of them. Once elected, he or she will have to rebuild the festival from scratch.

Just as ISFiT 2019 had “Migration” as it’s theme, the election of a new president will also determine what the theme of the 2021 festival shall be. Members of Samfundet can therefore by voting for their candidate of choice, make a huge impact on the direction of festival.

Stewart encourages everyone to think about what they want from the festival when casting their vote.

– Do you want an ISFiT that is massive and with ambitions to take over the world? Or something that is more focused on small grassroot changes? Do you want a cultural program that’s going to bring big names to Trondheim, or do you want to support small, independent artists from communities you never even heard of? Ask the candidates good questions, and more importantly - listen to what they have to say!

As of Monday March 18th, the following has announced their candidacy:

Mathilde Breda Enkerud (22)

Mathilde Breda Enkerud.

Studying: Sociology and spanish

Theme: “Creating Knowledge”

Workshopleader at ISFiT 2017, Stage Designer for the Ceremonies at ISFiT 2019.

For Mathilde Enkerud, having ISFiT as a platform in which students are taken seriously has been an important motivation to run for the ISFiT precidency.

– I think people’s enthusiasm for the festival is the most exciting thing! ISFiT has engaged me, I am highly motivated to dedicate the next two years to be a part of building this organization and festival.

Running with the theme “Creating Knowledge”, Enkerud wishes to take a critical look at knowledge, but also shed light on how we can create knowledge, as something positive.

– Power, economical structures and north-south relations all affect the production, spread and availability of knowledge. At the same time, knowledge is often a force for good, and a catalyst for activism, as we can see in cases such as with the current climate-strike among young people.

Enkerud also says she wishes to create a better ISFiT, not just for the next two years, but with a lasting impact, and that she wishes to look at the festivals organisational structure.

In one sentence, why should people vote for you?

– Knowledge is power - therefore we must discuss it!

Fredrik E. Akre (21)

Fredrik E. Akre.

Studies: Physics and Mathematics

Theme: “Social sustainability”

Head of Accounting at ISFiT 2019

When announcing his candidacy at Samfundsmøte: Norge etter olja, Fredrik Akre said:

– When discussing a sustainable future, I think we tend to to focus on the economic and environmental developments, but these conflicts, challenges and achievements are not simply economical or environmental. So where does human value and human rights enter this discussion?

A volunteer during ISFiT 2019, he says he found the festival extremely inspiring and charming, but that he sees many things that he wants to change and improve if elected president.

– As an example, I would like to improve the relationship and cooperation between ISFiT and Samfundet, and between ISFiT and UKA.

Asked what it is he can bring to the festival, Akre says:

– Coming from economy, I have a unique experience from the previous festival. I also have a theme that I’m passionate about and a lot of enthusiasm for the festival!

In one sentence, why should people vote for you?

– We will create an epic festival that dares challenge and excite in the name of socially sustainable development.

Michael Li Stene (22)

Michael Li Stene.

Studying: Political science

Theme: “Technology”

Head of Internal Events at ISFiT 2019

For Michael Li Stene, making sure the volunteers are taken good care of takes a high priority.

– It's a snowball effect! If the volunteers are happy, they will make a better festival, which in turn will lead to happy participants.

With the theme “Technology”, Stene hopes to take a step back to look at the impact technology has on society.

– With technology we get fantastic opportunities, but also great dangers. I would like to look at both sides of this.

In choosing “Technology” as his theme, Stene hopes to show that something technology also can be a part of people’s personal lives and have a role in the creation of identity.

– Technology is more of an external influence, but i want to speak against this. People are more online than ever. I want to look at how technology can form identity, and how it can affect the way we act.

In one sentence, why should people vote for you?

– I am positive, engaged, and care about you, my theme is important and I hope you think so too!

Donata Stonkutė (24)

Donata Stonkutė.

Studies: Masters in Global Health

Theme: “The Future of Genders”

Dialouge facilitator at ISFiT 2019

Coming to Norway as an international student in September, Donata Stonkute had only been in Trondheim four days before applying to ISFiT 2019. Now she is running for president of the 2021 festival.

– ISFiT became my family in Trondheim. As a dialogue facilitator, I got the chance to form close relationships with the participants. Responses and feedback from participants was what inspired me to announce my candidacy. In 2021 I would like to see a festival with the aim of learning, not teaching.

As for her theme, Stonkute wants to look at gender and how gender inequality creates problems around the world. She points to the lack of focus on both men and non-binaries in the discussion around gender.

– Feminism isn’t about women taking over the world, it’s about equality. The discussions about gender often ends up being about women, forgetting important issues, such as men’s mental health. Today we are in the crossroad where the future of genders will be either the evolution or extinction.

In one sentence, why should people vote for you?

– When considering my gender, nationality, and character since the moment was born, I’ve been going against all the odds and expectations.

The election will be held on Wednesday March 20th in Storsalen at 6pm.

Michael Li Stene is a member of Studentmediene i Trondheim.

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