Whose City Is It Anyway?
Mar 2010 05

Four extremely tedious days, slogging from 10am to 6pm every day, but every single moment we put in was completely worth it and all the credit goes to the excellent and amiable mentoring of Samira Kanwar from Babble Fish Productions and to the Global Fund for Children for enabling her visit.

The entire training process made us see a whole new light on how much difference can be made through the process of film making and digital stories, and how we can make so much of a difference through this medium. It made us realise that that issues can create pictoral memories and have far more lasting power through video in people’s minds, we saw how using pictures, videos and music (well put together!) reaches a number of people.

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In one of our exercises, we were divided into teams of two where we picked extremely different topics to make digital stories on. We ventured into the different aspects of film making, from scripting and storyboarding to actually going on the streets to shoot and finally culminating everything in editing. We managed to make two Short Films on two of the most unconventional themes possible, ‘Labels or Love?’ and ‘Small Things That Make Us Happy’. There is a place for each one of us in the world of film, we all found our weaknesses and strengths through these four days, some of us preferred communicating through photography and some of us through editing. I say this for everyone when I say, that, each one of us found our own space in the training (not forgetting those who were the most technically challenged amongst us)!!!!

These four days were an absolute delight and a learning experience for all of us, with perhaps the most rewarding part being Samira’s feedback on our work. As we went about the training, we realised that film making is not a piece of cake, and its NOT what we thought it is, it’s sheer hard work, and neither is it as glamorous as it sounds, it requires hard work, time commitment, patience but I speak for everyone when I say this that this was just our absolute favourite training ever!!

After the training we have now come to the stage where we know where we are with the project and where we want to reach. The Butterfly Project in the coming year will hold workshops on Digital Storytelling as part of a project we’re calling ‘Whose City Is It Anyway?’.

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The aim of the project is to hold workshops and bring together young people who live in Delhi to discuss, challenge and share their views on questions of inclusivity, access to public spaces, discriminative practices and the stigma and prejudice that is experienced by young people different self identified communities and identities. We’re doing this because we want young people in the city to come together and through film, challenge some of the stereotypes through which we see each other. And hopefully, break down some of those barriers. Often our actions restrict other’s rights, and we hope to build a space in the city where there is more respect for diverse identities. This project is for you, if you feel disconnected with young people within this city, if you feel discriminated against, because of who you are and what you identify with.

In November, we plan to have the 3rd Butterfly Project Film Series, our Bi Annual National Film Festival for amateur and first time film makers, in which we shall show the digital stories we would have made in the 3 previous workshops conducted, along with entries from young people across the country. The project is an open one, and will bring young people together where they can express themselves and the issues that concern them through the medium of film and literature.

Disha Sethi

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