Student Turns Hobby into Campus-Wide Campaign


Nicklas Bajema

Political science student Nicklas Bajema is bringing a movement to campus that he hopes will change stereotypes.

It all started with a stroll through UCF and overhearing a conversation stereotyping a group of people.

“I was walking down Memory Mall and I kept hearing a group of young guys,” Bajema said. “They were talking about sorority sisters, and they were talking about them in a negative light.”

He then decided to take his love for photography and start a campaign to end stereotypes. He sent out a call on his Facebook page asking for volunteers to photograph. His goal is to spread awareness about stereotypes and how they can be wildly incorrect.

One major stereotype that he has set out to address is the “dumb blonde.” Bajema wants to show that your gender or the color of your hair does not dictate your intelligence.

Bajema acknowledges that not everyone will agree with the stereotypes he portrays. For example, he mused that men may not agree with the stereotype mentioned above. However, he stated that each photo set is not made to please everyone.

“These are just stereotypes that I’m just trying to get rid of,” Bajema said.

He is hoping that his project will raise awareness and inform people about the severity and consequences of stereotypes.

What was once just a hobby has now become his passion.

“When I was in high school I was going through a rough time and I decided I needed a hobby, so I went out and bought a film camera.”

He started out like many photographers, taking photos of his surroundings. Down the road, he began to explore other areas and ended up with the subjects he has today.

“At first I started out with nature and all that stuff and then I started asking people if they wanted to pose,” Bajema said. “And eventually I was drawn to people.”

By photographing people he has opened a door to a more personal side of photography.

“When you shoot (photograph) them, you’re capturing who they are and what they embody,” he said.

The goal of his project is not to gain attention for himself, but rather for the movement. He said that if anyone wants to join him in taking photos they are more than welcome to, it is everyone’s project.

“It’s not just mine, it’s not about me,” Bajema said.

He invites anyone interested in helping out to contact him via his Facebook page.

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