Faria Firoz with husband Mynol Vhuiyan celebrating award

International Student at University of the Fraser Valley Awarded Medal for Social Justice Art Project


International Student Faria Firoz moved to Canada from Bangladesh with her husband Mynol Vhuiyan in 2016. She has lived in Canada for just 5 years and already have made a recognition as an International Student by using her art to advocate for social issues.

She is one of the four artists who worked on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) social justice art project. The project was launched on June 12 at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) in response to the BLM movement. Her commitment to advocacy has earned Firoz the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s medal at the UFV.

Lieutenant Governor’s Medal

The criteria for the Lieutenant Governor’s medal include student’s involvement in promoting diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation.

“I was looking into where to study art and received such good and detailed and organized advice from UFV academic advisor Paula Funk. It was life-changing. The education system is quite different than it is in Bangladesh, but after talking with Paula, I said ‘okay, I can do this.’”

International Student Faria Firoz

Firoz’s Background

Firoz has always been passionate about her education and background back in Bangladesh in high school was focused on Art. She draws her inspiration from great artists such as Michelangelo and Caravaggio as her style consists of semi-realist art. Firoz takes that semi-realist style and converges it with a social justice theme. Many of Firoz’s artwork takes a critical look at our current social and political issues.

Prior to UFV, Firoz completed Advanced Levels in Arts and Design from Cambridge International Examinations. She is currently graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at UFV.

She has participated in numerous art exhibitions over the past years. Her painting titled “Hurricane” has been published in the Hebrew Learning for 8th Graders. She has designed many book covers for Ruddur Publications and is currently working on illustrations in a children’s book.

Firoz discovered appeal for artists for the BLM project on UFV’s website. It was at that moment she knew it was a perfect opportunity to make her mark. As she was deeply interested in opening conversation about social justice through art. This project also helped her gain exposure to cultural and political issues that we are facing in our current times. She worked with three other artists with different backgrounds and perspectives on the BLM project. Firoz never imagined winning the Lieutenant Governor’s medal.

Arts Opportunities in Canada

“Canada is a great country for international students who are artists,” she expressed. She is planning to continue her education in art by pursuing a master’s degree. Her aspiration is to teach and practice the arts.

Black Lives Matter Social Justice Art Project at UFV

The Black Lives Matter social justice art project brought four artists together to work with UFV professors Cherie Enns and Shelley Stefan and cultural mentor Desiree Dawson. The artists had to paint canvas art that will raise awareness of the BLM movement through creativity.

Art Exhibit at UFV’s Abbotsford Campus

A Black Lives Matter Social Justice art show opened at the University of the Fraser Valley in the Abbotsford Campus on June 14 and runs until Sept. 15 for free. The exhibit is located at the S’eliyemetaxwtexw Art Gallery (room B136).

or view the Live Event at abbotsfordblm.ca

Read more about Faria Firoz here

Source: International Student Win Medal for Promoting

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