Friday, April 8, 2011

Moldovan youngsters present participatory videos

"Young people interviewing adults in their community about the life as a youngster...."
"I want to become a journalist and go to New York!" - Youngsters share their dreams in a sleigh.
"Dancing, taking care of the ecology, cultural festivities"
"A slapstick bringing youngsters together through the mobile telephone...."
Four different stories told by video through the perspective of young people. All video's had in common that they were directed, filmed and produced by youth from 4 communities (Ulmu, Vadul Rascov, Cotiujenii Mari and Varnita) showing implicitely and explicitely what they had accomplished during the last 2 years. During the Conference Youth (R)Evolution, discussing the State of the Art of Youth Work in Moldova on the 24 - 25 March, 2011 the videos were presented.
See video:

Participatory Videomaking was one of the final training activities during the project 'Youth in the Center' (financed by Matra). The project aims to build sustainable structures for youth development in Moldova implemented by Procommunity Centre with support from Kontakt der Kontinenten & Hogeschool Windesheim (Netherlands) and Proni Centre for Social Education (Croatia).
Aims of the process
The process of participatory videomaking was focused at:
* supporting the youth from each village to vizualize on what they had accomplished as a youth club;
* making them acquainted with modern techniques of participation and do something new and different;
* strengthening the teamwork
* developing the local capacity of the implementing organisation, Procommunity Centre
Each of the youth clubs had a 2 - 3 day training which guided them to develop the video. First of all the youngsters got an orientation about video making and got the opportunity to develop a film scenario. Two weeks in advance of the training, the youngsters had to do research in their community on what locations they would like to film and which people they would like to involve and interview.
During the training, the youth learned about the principles of video making, practised with the camera and developed the final film scenario. On the second day they filmed, watched and discussed what they filmed and selected the main shots for their movie.
For the youth clubs who wanted to continue (only one), a third day was focused on the editing process. Time was used for discussions on how to compile the final draft of the video. After the training each youth club selected 2 - 3 represenatives who were involved in the final editing process with the trainers. See video on how process was facilitated in Ulmu village, november 2010.
Support in the video making
The training was conducted by two professors and filmmakers from the Filmacademy, Chisinau, Moldova. They explained on how to make a movie, how to film and apply basic important principles of videomaking. The process of facilitation was provided by Procommunity Centre. Three camera's were used for the filming and Final Procut was used for the editing. (Another user friendly program for video editing is Adobe Premiera elements). The support in editing was given by the two professors and by students from the film academy. Video editing is quite an intensive process and it requires quite an amount of practise. Therefore support was given by the filmacademy in this area.
How to build trust and make people comfortable?
Based on experience the pitfall in video making is the believe, that everybody likes video making. The reality is a bit different. Especially people in the age from 40 or above can have a feeling of resistance in being upfront or behind the camera. It also applies less for people below 40, but still they can have an objection. Therefore, the process of trust building is important. In advance of the video making, the people and parties involved should be clear about the objectives of the process and also should be aware on how the movies are disseminated and for what purpose. The technique and utilisation of camera's is also frigthening for some people. Therefore, we already used the video camera's starting from an early stage in the project. During the summercamps, trainings and exchange visits youngsters were already given the opportunity to practise with a digital filmcamera. During the second summercamp of the project a photo workshop was held to make the youngsters enthousiastic about the possibilities of visual technologies. Youngsters from Ulmu village published even a photo - film version at youtube - called Pro Young. When the participatory video making trainings started the youngsters and their support environment were already used to the possibilities and limitations of the technology of videomaking. A gradual and slow introduction of digital camera's in advance of a participatory video making training is helpful for a successful process.
Participatory videos from each youth club
The participatory video's from each of the four youth clubs can be viewed at youtube. See video's Youth club Ulmu, Youth club Cotiujenii Mari, Youth club Varnita & Youth club Vadul Rascov.

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