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OneMinutesJr workshops on Juvenile Justice in Ukraine - Day 7

by Chris Schuepp

Kharkiv, UKRAINE, 22 March 2013 - Day 3 in the Kuryazh Youth Correctional Facility for Boys outside of Kharkiv and today we need to shoot all the footage for the 15 fiilms. Tomorrow is our last day here and we want to show all finished videos at noon. 

After checking some of the raw edits from yesterday on the laptops, we set out to shoot the remaining ten films with the 15 boys participating in the workshop. We can only break up into two groups because we need to have a warden around us at all times and there are only two wardens available for us.

Aleksey (17) is behind bars because of theft. He stole a mobile phone once, got a suspended sentence. He stole another mobile phone and was given a combined four-year sentence. He knows he did something wrong, but he is also critical of the the relatively long sentence he was given for just two cases of theft. 

Symbolically he destroys two mobile phones in the detention center workshop for his OneMinutesJr video, angry at himself that he let two phones destroy part of his childhood.

Artur (18) is another boy who did not learn from a suspended sentence and was sentenced to three in jail after his second offence. Here he found his true talent - Artur loves drawing. He is working on a pencil drawing of the German Fairy Tale Castle right now and for his video, we visit the Kuryazh Monastery which was founded in 1663. It is now part of the detention center and the main room with the historic frescos is a great place to film Artur's OneMinutesJr video.

In 1923 the monastery was turned into a youth penitentiary and in 1926 it was named after Anton Makarenko. Shortly afterwards, Makarenko and famous author Maxim Gorki met right here and there is a statue now commemorating the event. 

Since Aleksander (16) wants to shoot his film about Makarenko, of course the statue also appears in his film. Aleksander knows a lot about Makarenko's educational theory, but when he looks at the detention center today, keeping in mind what children and teenagers beyond the penitentiary walls experience in their daily lives, the theories of the 1920s appear to be a bit outdated in the 16-year-old's view.

Many other films are in the making, then we need to hurry with polishing the voice-over texts and recording the sounds before night falls on the detention center and the trainers have to leave.

Tomorrow at 12.30 PM everything needs to be finished, but there is still a lot to be done.



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