Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Young people active with video and social media: Participatory Video Making in Moldova

Young people's lives today versus the lives of young people in the past from the mouths of adults. This was the main theme of the participatory video young people from Ulmu made from 1 to 3 November 2010. The video-making was guided by two professors and students of the Film Academy in Chisinau, Moldova. Support in the discussions was provided by Pro Community Centre and Kontakt der Kontinenten.

Prior to the training Pro Community Centre organized an orientation meeting to allow young people to know more about the process. Professors from the Film Academy asked them to think about the scenario and locations / individuals to select for the story. Young people chose the theme; "the youth of today versus those of the past". During the training 10 locations were visited in their village to develop the story. The visits were diverse. Interviews were done with the mayor, a disabled mother, an elderly woman, a garment factory, a young entrepreneur and a family that produces local products.See below a 4-minute impression of the process of participatory video.

The development of the scenario and filming were part of the first two days of the course. The final day focused on video editing and discussions. By the end of the training a draft story of 10 minutes was completed. A core group from the youth club performed the final completion work (translation, perfectionizing, subtitling and learning to work with video editing) together with the professors of the film academy in the remaining weeks of 2010. The film is now in a completion stage and will be presented at a national conference on youth development in Moldova in March 2011. The process of participatory video making will be continued with youth clubs from Varnita, Vadul Rascov and Cotiujeni Mari.

Lessons learned
The training yielded some interesting lessons. Highlights included the video making, do it yourself and getting acquainted with the basics of filmmaking.

Some lessons learned were:
* As many times happens, the group felt it did not have enough time to complete the video. The use of a means of transportation on the second day could have saved some useful time.
* During the filming the youngsters and their professor used 5 cameras. This had an overwhelming impact on a number of interviewees. Therefore limit the use of cameras up to two.
* Many times the youth asked closed questions to the adults. Inclusion of a session on interview techniques offers an added value during the orientation
* The process of video making contributes to 'team building' and increases awareness about the profession of film making.
* By working with the Film Academy of Chisinau it created a basis for further capacity and local knowledge development about participatory video making. The process provided space for a core group of young people from Ulmu to further develop their skills on video making and editing.

Young people duplicate the process of video making
The training inspired the young people from Ulmu to make a video production themselves after the training and to spread it through social media. Together they made a Christmas message that was posted on youtube and was circulated through Odnoklasniki (Eastern European version of facebook). See link:


The participatory video making is part of the project 'Youth in the Centre', funded by Matra (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). This project is aimed at building sustainable structures for youth work in Moldova. The project is a partnership between Pro Community Centre, Kontakt der Kontinenten, Proni Centre for Social Education and University Windesheim.

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