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OneMinutesJr workshop in Kyrgyzstan – Day 2

© UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2009
Sasha (15) is preparing himself for the filming of a one-man (and one-minute) interview.

On the second day of the OneMinutesJr workshop in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, the participants continue developing their ideas. Last night it started raining and it has not stopped since. Not the perfect weather for filming outside, so we focus on the films that can be shot indoors.

Anara (14) lives in a boarding school in Panfilova, about two hours West of Bishkek. She misses her mother and will write a letter to her, at least in the video she is producing. It is supposed to be a very touching letter and therefore Anara spends a lot of time on the best possible “composition“ of the letter.

Sasha (15) also starts filming today. He wrote down all the questions he is going to ask himself – and the answers, of course. The rest will be done in the editing and it will really look like the 15 year-old is talking to himself. Which in a way, he is, too...

A lot of things also need to be organized for tomorrow, which will be the big filming day. One group will go by minibus to their boarding school to shoot their films there. Another group will go to the center of the capital Bishkek to film there, including Alina, who will ask people in the streets how they think the lives of children in institutions can be improved.

© UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2009
And.... action! The cameras are recording now in Bishkek.

On this second day of the workshop, the participating children already reveal more about their lives than they did on the opening day. The initial “distance“ between them and the trainers is more or less gone and they talk about the unwritten law of the pecking order in theit institutions.

One of the boys who tells us how younger children are beaten up by the older ones does not want to make this the topic of his film. He is afraid that it might backfire on him. “I would get problems there, I think. And I probably wouldn't be picked anymore for interesting field trips and seminars like this one.“

Another eye-opener is our discussion with Olya (15). There are 150 people in her boarding school and there are only two toilets, of which one is broken. So 150 people have to use one and the same toilet, not very hygenic at all...

It reminds me a bit of the world record the UNICEF National Committee for Belgium just set up a month ago on World Water Day when they arranged the biggest line ever to wait outside a toilet. But that was for advocacy purposes and not “for real“. Here in Kyrgyzstan, it is “for real“, but it might change for the better once Olya has finished her film and the experts and decision-makers at the international conference in Bishkek in May have also seen it.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – April 28, 2009 - Chris Schuepp

 

 
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