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OneMinutesJr workshop in Turkey - Day 1

by Chris Schuepp

KAHRAMANMARAŞ, Turkey, 23 April 2014 - Almost 16,000 refugees from Syria live in the Kahramanmaraş Camp in the South of Turkey, more than 5,000 of them are children. 15 of these children have the opportunity to produce OneMinutesJr videos about their lives in a workshop organized this week by UNICEF Turkey.

Three of the young participants of the OneMinutesJr workshop in Kahramanmaraş - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2014

The training takes place in the child-friendly space of the camp where the school tents are located as well as the containers for workshops and art classes. On regular days, 4,200 children attend school here in a morning and an afternoon shift. 125 Syrian refugees volunteer as teachers and make sure the children don't fall further behind after leaving their home country because of the war.

During the introductory session of the workshop we show films produced by other refugee children from similar camps in Jordan and Lebanon as well as a "best of"-compilation of OneMinutesJr videos from around the world. The participants, five girls and ten boys aged 12-15 are very interested and do a great job in analyzing the films and expressing what they liked and what they didn't like so much. 

Watching films from the recent workshops in Lebanon and Jordan held with other young refugees from Syria  - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2014

The next step on this first day of the 5-day workshop is to teach them the basics of film making. This starts with watching films and understanding how they were produced and why they were produced in this specific way. Camera movements, camera perspectives, video and audio features and other technical issues are discussed and help the youngsters understand how they can build their own stories in the days to come. 

The afternoon is reserved for the brainstorming process and individual discussions with the participants. Here more than almost anywhere else our psychological skills are needed. Many of the children have seen terrible things happening during the war in Syria before they and their families fled the country. Usually they are not supposed to talk about the war in the child friendly space or draw pictures of the war, but since we have an "open brainstorming session", they do use this to bring back the memories of Syria. 

One of the sad results from the brainstorming session  - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2014

The fact that the still bring up these stories means that they have not been able to fully cope with their trauma yet. It challenges us as trainers and adults responsible for them this week, so that we try to find a a way to turn these negative emotions into positive films. It's a fine line, but today we are very successful and the joint creativity of children and trainers leads to some really cool film ideas that will be put into practice in the days to come.





OneMinutesJr workshop in Turkey


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