OneMinutesJr. Workshop Za'atari: Part 3 - Lights, Camera, Action!
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The OneMinutesJr. gives youth the opportunity to have their voices heard by creating one minute videos that share their ideas, dreams, fascinations, anxieties and viewpoints on the world. The OneMinutesJr. held a workshop in Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan 18-23 January 2014. Read Part One and Part Two.
Finally a full day of filming! There’s a lot to film, but we have a bit of extra time because the screening is not until the 6th day.
13-year-old Oday used to love swimming back in Syria. There was no swimming pool in his house, but he used to swim in the bath with his cousins. This is something that he misses very much, but it’s not something he can do in the camp, as there is no swimming pool there. A man built a small one a while ago, but he couldn’t keep it operating. But one of his beliefs is to see the world in a different way, so he uses his imagination to find a way to swim. So Oday and his friends visit the former, empty pool and take the plunge in their own way. Watch it.
Like many of the kids, Rane (16) loves his country. His heart is full of love and he expresses this very poetically, in the form of a love letter. But how do love letters get to their recipients, especially when the writer lives in a refugee camp? We form a long chain of delivery, from his writing, through various hands and locations, and finally over the barbed wire fence. And of course, there is the always the chance to watch it online.
Another full day of filming, but we’re not quite finished yet, so we still film on the fifth day.
In order to get more kids involved, we like to have films that engages lots of hands. Since so many kids enjoyed creating the sets, we put them to work painting a mural. The mural reflects many of the beautiful things the kids miss in Syria – trees, flowers, fresh fruits, etc… The kids paint it over the course of a few hours on the side of one of the schools in the camp. Not only does it make a beautiful film, but the group has left a colorful art work for the school’s students. Watch it.
Finally, all the films are completed and it’s time to move on to editing. The video artists sit one-on-one with the youth directors to map out their films. There are final edits to complete and music and titles to think about. The participants are excited about the editing part, since they’re finally seeing a version of their film and getting how the process has turned their ideas into something they can watch. As the day comes to an end, it is proving hard for the kids to go home, since they are having so much fun. It is, of course, a refuge from their daily life, so it’s not surprising. There are a few final edits to finish in the morning, but the kids go home, mostly ready for their films to be screened.
On the sixth day, after finalizing the remaining films with the last few participants, we are ready for the screening. We’re running the program in a child-friendly space run by Mercycorps. The “theater” is a very large, colorful tent, with a floor lined with turf and colorful pendants hanging from the walls. It’s known as “Dreamworld,” and shows children’s films almost daily. It’s the perfect spot to celebrate these colorful films.
There are many kids in attendance and some parents have also come. The back of the room is lined with NGO staff to watch their colleagues featured in the NGO movie. All of the films are met with hollering and whistling – no movie finishes without a raucous round of applause and exclamations. The participants are thrilled with their films. Before the screening, many of the kids were worried that their videos wouldn’t be good, or that they were not as good as their fellow makers. But now, they are all pleased with their films, and proud of their work.
It is hard to say goodbye, even more so than other workshops, since we know this experience has been a bit of freedom for them that is now ending. The youth are so appreciative of their experience and it’s been very special to help them give voice to some of the things they are feeling there in Zaatari camp. Watch all the movies from this workshop.