OneMinutesJr. Workshop Za'atari: Part 2 - Getting Hands-On with Filmmaking
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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 Three
The first day of the Zaatari Camp workshop involved a lot of teaching, a lot of supervising and we only barely got to scratch the surface of the video ideas. On the second day, there were still a lot of ideas to discuss, and we because many of the stories are so personal and sensitive, we wanted to make sure we were getting to the right ideas.
Most of the ideas still focus on the things the youth miss from their homes in Syria – the special coffee pot, walking in the orchards with their family, swimming, picking flowers, gazing at the stars. There is a strong sense of place that emerges to paint a picture of the home they left and why they miss it so much. The freedom of playing and exploring and moving around that quickly dissipated once the conflict spread.
15-year-old Zen explained that “violence started and spread threw
all corners of the country. Massacres started. Fear became
rampant...I hope for peaceful life where we will not fear the
sounds of bullets.” Here in the camp, he tries to keep himself
occupied to keep his mind from flashing back to the bad things he
witnessed. “Insecurity prevails,” he explained, and he keeps
himself disciplined to keep order in his life – through school,
attending mosque, working, etc… Watch it
Marwa, 12, misses the flowers that she used to pick with her
friends. There are no flowers growing here in Zaatari, not even a
flower shop where they can buy them. We immediately get the idea
to bring flowers that she can “pick” and then hand out to people
on the streets of the camp. Watch it.
We are trying to focus the videos on the “Our Now, Our Future”
theme, but so much of that is tied up with the past and it’s hard
to separate. Majid, 14, is very eloquent in expressing his views:
“Our past is our problem. Our sadness is also our past. Our now
is here in Zaatari. Our future is what we are planning for, now.”
He has fond memories of his life – his house, the fields of
flowers, the beautiful mosque. We talk to him about bringing in
pictures of those things and we can show his past and his
present, and maybe even his future?
Raghad, 16, is torn between feeling like the camp is a hole that
she’s fallen into but also realizing that the only way to go for
the future is to move on. “Don’t ever give up, if your feet fall
in a hole, because you will get out of it with more strength and
power,” she says. There are plenty of roads to choose to follow
and when we asked which road she was on, she answered, “I feel
like I’m walking in the right direction.” She is focusing on
studying and doing good things and that makes her feel more
positive in her surroundings. Watch it.
It is clear that there won’t be any filming done on the second day, as we have to leave the camp by the afternoon. But by the third day we’re ready to start.
Amar (14) spoke about the fighting and weapons he saw in Syria.
Here in the camp, kids play with water pistols. As he sees it,
they are imitating the adults. “This is exactly what is going on
in Syria, he says. “Such scenes will remain live in their minds.”
So we recreate a battle seen using sticks and cardboard weapons.
The battle is strikingly life-life – it is obvious that these are
movements and images that are not just gleaned from television or
movies - even down to the TV crews standing by. Watch it.
Many of the films to be shot involve a lot of creative set building, especially because the locations available to us are limited. Omaima (12) is going to recreate the sun and moon and stars to symbolize the toys she left behind in Syria. Hamza is telling the story of his journey to Zaatari in clay figurines. Much of the day is spent cutting and painting cardboard and clay to stand in for real-life people and places. The youth are happy to get the talking part of the workshop out of the way and start hands-on work. Watch it.