Arts & Humanities

The next Darnal Award and symposium

Arts & Humanities
The next Darnal Award and symposium

The next DASJ selection will focus on arts and humanities, with a spotlight on young change makers whose work and contributions to social justice causes have created value beyond the academy. We believe that expression through arts and humanities allows people the freedom to be contradictory and to challenge existing social norms— and that this can add unique public value for sustainable social change.

By recognizing, celebrating, and supporting individuals in and outside of Nepal who are taking a creative or artistic approach to social justice, we seek to broaden the possibilities for what constitutes activism and make the movement for caste equality accessible and meaningful to new communities.

Individuals and organizations working at the intersection of social justice and the arts are encouraged to self-nominate or find a nominator. The Award is open to anyone below 40 years of age whose work fits the description above, irrespective of caste, ethnicity, class, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or nationality. Because Suvash Darnal’s life work focused on working toward caste equality in Nepal, we particularly welcome nominations of young Nepali Dalits.

The Darnal Award
Nomination Process

The Darnal Award for Social Justice (DASJ) is currently accepting nominees for its 2020 international award for leadership in addressing caste-questions for addressing equal dignity, equal rights, and equal opportunities. Individuals, organizations, and movements are eligible to be nominated; however, individual nominees must be under forty years of age. Nominees that are competitive for the award will have a strong record of activism and demonstrated leadership to further social justice objectives, particularly related to caste questions. Those working in the Arts and Humanities are particularly encouraged to apply this year, as these disciplines will be highlighted during the August 2020 award ceremony and symposium.

Individuals, organizations, and movements can be nominated through two methods:

1.    DASJ Nominators:  Building on the contributions of past nominators, DASJ is inviting a select group of reputed scholars, experts, and leaders engaged with caste questions globally to submit nominations.  The names of the nominators will be made public after the announcement of the next DASJ awardee hopefully in 2021. See People Involved.

2.    Self-Nomination Process: For DASJ 2020, we have introduced the self-nomination process to increase the pool of deserving Nominees who may be missed by our invited Nominators.  Nominees (individuals under forty years of age, an organization or a Movement) may also apply by selecting a qualified Nominator.Interested Nominee must submit a brief statement (no more than one-page) to DASJ on why they should be considered and brief information of their chosen Nominator.  Interested Nominee is responsible for selecting a Nominator, who MUST be either:
  • A professor with minimum ten years of full-time affiliation with a recognized higher educational entity (e.g. universities, specialized institutions, think-tanks).  The chosen professor must be someone with relevant expertise for assessing Nominee’s contributions as they relate to the purpose of DASJ.  For example, a professor of Music who can assess Nominee’s talent and contribution as a musician, significance of their music in addressing caste-questions, including future potential as emerging social justice leader.
  • A Head/Director of an organization (non-governmental or governmental or private sector) with minimum five-years of experience. The chosen head of an organization must be someone with relevant expertise for assessing Nominee’s contributions as they relate to the purpose of DASJ.  For example, the head of Arts Council who can assess Nominee’s talent and contribution as an Artist, significance of their Art work in addressing caste-questions, including future potential as emerging social justice leader.
  • A prominent published writer or public intellectual. The chosen writer or a public intellectual must be someone with relevant expertise for assessing Nominee’s contributions as they relate to the purpose of DASJ. For example, a published author or public intellectual who can assess Nominee’s talent and contribution as a writer, significance of Nominee’s writing in engaging with caste-questions, including future potential as emerging social justice leader.
  • Nominator must submit completed Nominator form no later than March 1, 2021. For the form, Nominees must provide their Nominator the following link.

The Darnal Award
Selection Process

The Darnal Award for Social Justice uses a rigorous, multi-stage selection process, involving individuals from multiple backgrounds. Based on the vision and objectives of the Award, the Darnal Award Steering Committee develops the policies and guidelines for each cycle.  The Steering Committee selects and invites highly reputed scholars, intellectuals, leaders and activists from diverse backgrounds from within and beyond Nepal to serve as nominators.

Each invited nominator can nominate up to two candidates for each cycle. Self-nominations will not be taken into consideration. Award is open to individuals, organizations, or movements. Possible nominees include:

- Individuals: activists, academics/scholars/researchers, media professionals, writers, artists, singers/music composers, policymakers, political leaders, entrepreneurs and community leaders.

- Organizations: governmental, non-governmental, or community-based organizations.

- Movements for social justice: Movements dedicated to strengthening democracy and civil rights, particularly for historically marginalized groups.

At the end of the nomination period, the Darnal Award staff conducts technical review, and presents all the qualified nominees to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee carefully reviews the nominations and shortlists the most compelling candidates. A team of professional researchers gathers additional information from the nominee, as well as from other sources and present their findings to the Selection Committee. The Darnal Award Selection Committee, comprising of members of the Steering Committee and other social justice leaders, selects the awardee and a group of 5-7 semi-finalists, who are announced on June 8th to coincide with Suvash’s birthday. The awardee is honored at a special ceremony on August 15th to mark the anniversary of his untimely death.

Relevant information about the selection process, nominators, and the Darnal Award Selection Committee is made public at different stages of the award process.

Please fill out the
forms to Nominate