OneMinutesJr workshop in Kyrgyzstan – Day 3
Day 3 of the workshop in Bishkek is the big filming day. The 20 participants split up in three groups after breakfast and go out filming. One group takes a minibus to the Chui-Tokmok boarding-school about 90 minutes East of Bishkek. The second group faces a three hour drive to Panfilovska to the West of the Kyrgyz capital. The third groups has found locations for the filming in the city center of Bishkek, so they are the first to get the cameras rolling.
Alina gets the equipment ready, decides that she wants to have Kanimet as her cameraman and off they go to the busiest street in Bishkek to interview people. Their question: "What can be done to make the lives of children in institutions better?" Sometimes it's good to simply ask the people in the streets to put things into perspective.
At about the same time Alina is done with her "vox pops", the Chui-Tokmok group reaches its destination. The main project here is to show the toilets - or the lack of toilets, to be precise. It was hard to believe for us when Olya told us about the sanitary situation for the 150 people in her boarding-school yesterday when she came up with the idea to produce her OneMinutesJr video about this. But what we see today is simply shocking and hard to describe.
There are four holes in the ground in a half-finished brick building outside. There are no doors. There is no roof. There are mud puddles in front of two of the toilets and the other two holes in the ground also do not look very inviting. The girls from the boarding-school are all dressed up for the visitors from Bishkek, but their shiny shoes and white socks create a surreal image when you see them jumping between mud puddles and human feces. Everybody involved in the shooting of this film hopes that this situation will change with the upcoming forum in Bishkek - or even sooner. To the trainers it is immediately clear from the footage taken in Chui-Tokmok that this will be one of the most shocking and thought-provoking films of the whole workshop.
However, it needs to be mentioned of course that the situation in other places is not as bad as it is here. Trainer David tells us about the caring and friendly atmosphere in Panfilovska when he returns in the evening from a long day out in the Kyrgyz villages and the boarding-schools there. "The children were hugged when they arrived and they really like it there. The whole team in the boarding-school really does its utmost to make them feel comfortable. The institution is poor, but they make the best of it and the atmosphere is really special", David tells the others in the evening.
Time to load some of the materials from today onto the laptops and start some editing. Tomorrow is another day with more films to shoot...
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - April 29, 2009 - Chris Schuepp