Solomon Islands workshop - Day 3
HONIARA, Solomon Islands, 20 July 2011 - The third day of a OneMinutesJr workshop is always special because we spend most of the day out in the streets and the villages, but today we have a truly mind-blowing experience on the agenda.
Our first shooting location for the day is the Ranandi Dump Site, the garbage site in the industrial part of Honiara. Anika (19) wants to film a story about child poverty and child labour there and says it would be no problem finding children there who pick the garbage for tin cans. We are not even close yet when our noses start smelling the dump site. The next thing we see is smoke from burned garbage piles. Through the smoke we can see people as we approach the center of the dump site. The stench is almost unbearable and what we see, smell and experience here is hard to digest.
Children of almost all ages roam around the garbage piles with their parents or other adults, barefoot, no protection from the smoke and the fumes and the sun, flies everywhere, dogs - the whole place is one big mess.
Anika finds two young boys and interviews and follows them with the camera for a while. Once the shooting is over, we cannot get out of this place fast enough. But the smell and the images will stay with us for a long time…
In the afternoon, we are back in Tuvaruhu village. Esther's plan is to film a robbery. Apparently, roadblocks have become the latest favorite past-time for some of the unemployed young people. They hide in the bushes and when a car approaches, they block the road with huge trunks and rob the passengers of their belongings. The film suggests in the end that it is time to find alternative possibilities for young people to make a living.
On the way to the village we see a wheelchair, something you don't see too often around here. Children are playing with it, but when asked whether its is just a toy or someone's necessary equipment, the children tell us about Charlie, a young adolescent from across the river. Charlie has been in a wheelchair since 2002 when he fell from a coconut tree. 20 years old now, he loves music and has one wheelchair on either side of the river that separates the two parts of the village. Whenever he wants to cross the river, friends carry him across. Needless to say, we shoot a story about him and Anthonet (15) leads the interview with Charlie to gather the information for the short documentary.
Back in Honiara, we are very pleased with what we have accomplished today. All stories are filmed, now we can start editing. However, some of the images we saw today cannot be edited. The children from the dump site will stay in our heads for a long, long time.
blog written by Chris Schuepp