Life Told in One Minute: One Minute Junior Workshop for children in Derventa, BiH
Instead of bulling their classmate because of her torn T-shirt, at one moment, all the children in the class stand up, tear their T-shirts, and once again, they are all equal. This, in a nutshell, is the scenario of a one-minute movie made by a seventh-grade pupil of the 19th April Elementary School in Derventa, who participated in the five-day workshop OneMinutesJr.
OneMinutesJr is a network made of the European Cultural Foundation, Sandberg Institute and UNICEF, which provides financial support to the network and assists in its work. This results in one-minute movies made by children and young people through which they express their opinions, views, ideas, or raise their voice about their problems and problems of their peers.
The workshops are organised within the Strengthening the Social Protection and Inclusion System Programme (SPIS). Their goal is to bring the concept of social inclusion closer to the children and give them another tool to express their views, needs, wishes, and thoughts. The movies will also be used as lobbying tools for finding solutions with government representatives in local communities.
In order to be able to tell her one-minute story through the moving pictures, Sara and other workshop participants are assisted by Chris Schuepp, who held similar workshops across the globe before coming to Derventa, with the support of energetic Nadine Hottenrott and the newly-trained OneMinutes trainers from the Banja Luka-based Genesis Project Association.
“I want to show on this example how we are all equal regardless of the way we look or the type of clothes we wear”, Sara tells us during the break on the set, while Nadine gives the last instructions related to the shooting of the movie’s last scene. During the workshop, children helped each other in telling stories, acted in the movies, but also exchanged ideas on ultimately making the best story possible. Among the actors in Sara’s movie is Dražen Škrga, an eighth-grader, who saw the littered streets as a major problem among the many his peers come across, and he talks about it in his one-minute movie. A teenager who thinks about garbage?
“Yes. It bothers me that the town is dirty and if this movie of mine will help in any way, I will be glad. I wanted to draw attention to this problem through a movie about a man who fights for a cleaner town”, Dražen says.
His classmate, Olja Milinković, has been wondering for years why there are no streetlights along the three-kilometre road that she uses to return home after the afternoon classes.
“It’s dark, there are stray dogs and I am scared to walk home after school. That is why through this movie I decided to draw attention to this problem, which is not only mine, it is the problem of all children walking back home on dark roads,” Olja says.
Other movies made during the five-day workshop to do not fall behind the mentioned ones in their intriguing character, the choice of topics and the mature approach the children took when talking about them. Many offered solutions too.
„Nadine, Draško from Genesis and I help them, but it is fascinating to see with how much fervour they accepted everything and how well they reacted, and I can tell you that at least 80% of each movie is children’s work. I liked the fact that the topics are diverse, from peer violence to the litter issue, stray dogs and lack of streetlights, to the story by a boy who draws attention to the need to care for elderly. They have a good “radar” to detect relevant and interesting subjects within social inclusion,” Chris tells us while the final work on editing the previously filmed material continues.
In addition to extraordinary video-clips, for which children were awarded diplomas, another value of the completed workshop is that new OneMinutes trainers from the Genesis Project organisation, UNICEF partner in BiH for many years, were trained.
“This means that the end of the workshop does not imply the end of the OneMinutesJr in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because we continue the work with the support from UNICEF and the European Union. We were able to learn a lot from Chris and we will gladly continue to apply that knowledge,” Draško Stojčić from the Genesis Project told us.