1: Amman, Jordan (11-15 January 2014)
2: Balti, Moldova (26-30 May 2014)
3: Bamyan, Afghanistan (7-11 September 2014)
4: Bangladesh workshop (November 2014)
5: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (February 2014)
6: Dilijan, Armenia (22-26 September 2014)
7: Herne, Germany workshop (October 2014)
8: Hong Kong, China Workshop 2014
9: Kahramanmaras, Turkey (23-27 April 2014)
10: Karakol, Kyrgyzstan (March 2014)
11: Lviv, Ukraine (October 2014)
12: Lviv, Ukraine (15 -19 July 2014)
13: Mansakonko, The Gambia (25-29 August 2014)
14: Mexico City, Mexico (November 2014)
15: Odessa (October 2014)
16: Passikudah, Sri Lanka (February 2014)
17: Pokhara, Nepal (17-21 March 2014)
18: Recklinghausen, Germany (14-17 April 2014)
19: Tashkent, Uzbekistan (28 July - 1 August 2014)
20: Zaatari Camp, Jordan (18-23 January 2014)
21: Amsterdam, The Netherlands - IDFA Masterclass (28-Nov - 01 Dec 2014)
In a pre-fabricated caravan in base camp at the Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan, a The One Minutes Jr. workshop was born. The kids all live at Za’atari, some coming almost a year and a half ago. They are all from Syria and the majority came from Daraa, a city in southwestern Syria, just north of the border with Jordan. The Za’atari camp hosts about 85,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria.
Most of the seventeen participants of the workshop never held a video camera before and their image-taking experience was mostly limited to mobile phones. We stripped down our teachings to the basics to give us more time, but it was still important to convey the essentials of camera shots and storytelling so that they could develop their ideas. Since the kids didn’t have any experience in this realm, we spent more time to make sure they really understood the concepts.
But they were eager to learn and engage. A common theme running through our first conversations were how much these kids miss Syria. Even though the workshop’s theme was “Our Now, Our Future,” many of their film ideas involved things that they missed from the past. We tried to work to transforming those memories and longings into their present at Za’atari. Their stories are traumatic and sensitive so a lot of extra time was spent in talks to draw out stories and be respectful of their situations.
Filming was also a challenge. We stayed in base camp when possible and when venturing out to film in the camp, we had to be very careful, as people were highly sensitive to being filmed. We managed to film 17 stories, but didn’t complete filming until the last day. Our hours in the camp were limited, so thankfully we had schedule the final screening for the day after workshop ended. But video artists Taatske Pieterson and Olivia Glebbeek edited with all the children, even if we had to call them back on the extra day.
The final screening took place at 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 childrens films almost daily. It was the perfect spot to celebrate these colorful films, with an attendance of friends, family and NGO workers. The kids were beside themselves with excitement and the energy was high. They couldn’t believe they had made the films and had this amazing experience.
Read more about the workshop here.