Since 2006, I have been leading a participatory media program called Voices Beyond Walls in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, with a local and international team of artists, filmmakers and educators. This summer our teams are launching a program of parallel workshops in the West Bank and Gaza, as part of our new Re-imagining Project.
The “Re-imagining Project” is a program of digital video, photography and storytelling workshops that supports Palestinian children and youth in expressing their cultural identity, personal narratives, and creative visions through participatory digital media.
This project is a collaboration among Voices Beyond Walls, Les Enfants, Le Jeu et l’Education (EJE), UNRWA and participating community centers in Al Aroub and Jabaliya refugee camps.
The program consists of the following key activities in summer 2010:
I. Conducting two 3-day Training of Trainers (ToT) sessions in Ramallah and Gaza City between June 28 to June 30, 2010. It will be conducted with 20-30 Palestinian volunteers from local youth centers, to provide participatory youth media training and prepare them to serve as potential workshop facilitators.
II. Conducting at least two 3-week digital storytelling workshops between July 4th to July 25th, 2010 with around 18-24 children (both boys and girls aged 10-14), in collaboration with community centers in Al Aroub camp in the West Bank and Jabaliya camp in Gaza. Many joint activities will be conducted among children in both workshops via video conferencing and online sharing.
III. Conducting baseline surveys, ongoing monitoring, and follow-up evaluations with all participants in the training and workshops in collaboration with EJE, UNRWA and the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP).
IV. Screenings and exhibitions of the youth media work in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza, as well as international festivals and venues abroad in 2010-2011.
We have an exciting international and local team of filmmakers, artists, photographers, researchers, educators and community youth activists involved this year. The project is sponsored in part by the Genevieve McMillan-Reba Stewart Foundation and the MIT Center for Future Civic Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.