OneMinutesJr. initiative helps youth capture their viewpoints around the world
The OneMinutesJr is a youth arts initiative that teaches young people how to capture their viewpoints on video. The project, run by UNICEF and its partner The One Minutes Foundation, has been producing one minute videos since 2002.
By Karen Cirillo
NEW YORK, USA, 22 August 2011 - June and July were busy months for UNICEF’s oneminutesjr. initiative: Five youth video workshops took place in the USA, Haiti, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Germany, with artists teaching young people about video techniques and storytelling.
In the first of two Pacific Islands workshops, UNICEF and the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation brought together 20 young people in Port Vila. Out of the topics of ‘Child Poverty’, ‘Water & Hygiene’ and’ Violence against children’, the latter was chosen often because of the unfortunately high occurrence of domestic violence, violence in schools in the form of teacher-to-student violence and extreme bullying.
Historically, the Pacific islanders are oral storytellers and on the remote islands, listening to the radio and telling stories at night is still much more wide spread than watching TV. This is evident in that the teenagers struggled with "translating" the spoken word into images. But facilitators David Djindjikhachvili and Chris Schuepp helped the participants channel their creativity into visual expressions. Many of the youth also created their own music to accompany the videos.
The final screening took place on a large outdoor screen at the seafront and the videos have, and will continue to be shown, on TV Blong Vanuatu. Watch more videos from Vanuatu here.
The following week, 20 young people from different locations in the Solomon Islands joined up in the capital Honiara to participate in a workshop supported by UNICEF Pacific, Save the Children and OneTV. The budding filmmakers explore the same issues as their Vanuatu peers, but climate change, HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy are also brought up. The films were shown at a final screening and will be aired on One TV.
Following the screening, One News Director Dorothy Wickham reflected: “Solomon Islanders have never seen a local production, let alone a short one like the ones done [in] the workshop, so that in itself was amazing!” She added,” I am hoping that it will bring forward more young people who are interested in their own lives and want to share they thoughts with the rest of the country.”
In the mountain town of Kenscoff, away from the devastation left by the January 2010 earthquake, twenty young Haitian girls and boys participated in the first oneminutesjr. workshop held in Haiti. Children were selected from a diverse socio-economic background by partner organization PANOS.
During the five-day workshop, children had a chance to work on storyboards, shoot video and take part in the editing process. For many of the participants video-making and broadcasting was a novelty. With the help of video artists Taatske Pieterson and Arnar Ásgeirsson, the youth quickly picked up the process and showed surprising imagination. The “Child Rights” theme inspired the participants, whose lives still suffer the consequences of the previous year’s disaster, to create videos exploring issues of health, nutrition, education, abandonment, play and environment.
Videos ranged from animated drawings to self-portrait and interviews. Watch more videos from Haiti here.
The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (USA) hosted its third workshop since 2008. It recruited local youth from the neighbourhood in which the museum’s located, as well as young people in the museum’s VolunTeens program, to share their opinions on the theme ‘Daily Life and Dreams’. Artists Salomé Lamas and Vivian Wenli Lin worked with the youth to develop their stories, which covered subjects such as inter-personal struggles, favourite interests and future hopes.
Friends and family gathered for premiere screening in the Museum’s auditorium, where the participants performed ‘one minute’ acts before the videos brightened the screen. Watch more videos from Pittsburgh here.
The motto of this year’s World Children's Day (WCD) is ‘Children have something to say’. The oneminutesjr. workshop, held in Cologne, Germany, proved that. The young filmmakers shared their views on ‘Participation’, a theme equivalent to this year's WCD motto. Assisted by artists Anja Masling, Jose Biscaya and Chris Schuepp, the children produced videos demonstrating that they want to be involved in decision-making at all levels; at home, in school and with friends, but also in the media and in politics. All the videos produced will be shown at the WCD event in Cologne on September 18, 2011.
Upcoming workshops are planned in Bulgaria, Albania, India and the Ukraine.