UWC has taught me never to categorise people and make judgements based on generalisations.
Anders Bøtter (MUWCI 98-00) runs a film production company, Dynamofilm in Copenhagen and works for the Danish Broadcast Corporation. He is also is studying Film Studies at Copenhagen University. In 2008, he created the project “Undskyld Muhammed” (“Sorry Muhammad”), which has received much media attention. The project has a group page on Facebook and a webpage www.undskyldmuhammed.dk
. He views this as one of his greatest achievements and in May 2008, won an Al Mahabba Award for the project.
“It is an attempt to create a more plural debate about the Danish cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), without stigmatising Muslims in Denmark and abroad. The project's main motto claims that “one does not need to denigrate that which is holy to others to emphasize the sanctity of the freedom of speech”. The very clear cut message about the importance of building bridges of dialogue and compromise between the Arab and the Western world, instead of burning them, was directly inspired by my UWC education.”
Anders returned to Denmark after graduating from Mahindra UWC of India and founded record and film store Moby Disc in his hometown of Svendborg. Anders has worked on numerous film projects since 2005. His Salem music video,“The Needle In The Butterfly” won the Hugo Award at Copenhagen University in 2007 and will be broadcast on television programmes in Germany and Mexico . He was actively involved with the Danish National Committee from 2000 until 2008. He was head of selection from 2005-2007 and was active in building up a stronger network for UWC Alumni in Denmark, “A very very exciting task which has paid off; Our activities have doubled and our alumni network is now stronger than ever,” he says.
Anders found out about UWC through a poster in his local high school. “UWC was a welcome challenge for me....the teaching and learning at UWC seemed more engaging, more relevant and more inspiring than my previous high school experience, and the seriousness of the academic material was way above what I had been used to in any other school systems.”
“I discovered my passion for filmmaking and creative writing at UWC. The combination of studying the I.B. whilst discovering your own creative potential was indeed a very powerful and mindblowing experience. Also, I learned that hard academic work and achievements also can contain great elements of creativity - a knowledge I have definitely carried with me into my professional career.
“UWC has taught me never to categorise people and make judgements based on generalisations. Therefore, one could say that I now always look for “the opinion - and the other opinion” in every aspect of my life. Hence my entire approach towards my surroundings changed because of my UWC education.
“As I see it, diversity will always release personal potential. The cultural diversity of any UWC school is immense. For me this diversity sparked a potential, which may not have been released in the same constructive and meaningful manner if I had not attended a UWC.
“I cannot emphasise enough how much it is “the small experiences” at UWC that help shape a young person and his/hers future. At UWC you can sign up for a vast number of activities, take on enormous academic challenges and create life-saving services. But as I see it, these grand and relevant opportunities are just a small piece of the UWC education. What is really important to be aware of are all of the hundreds of little cross-cultural experiences that takes place every hour of each day in the dorms of the UWC colleges, in the dining hall, in the libraries, at the sports facilities and in the classrooms. The creation of a miniature world and a 100% international society within it is something you cannot “sign up for” in any other school system in the world. It is a unique experience, which everyday gives young people the chance to build a world that is more united, starting with their own exceptional example.”