Update: New video added, with the original now in the updates section.
IN A NUTSHELL
Voces de Cambio (Voices of Change) is an extraordinary after-school program for teenage girls in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Since 2006 the program has used writing and still photography to help teenage girls explore issues such as discrimination, gender equality, youth leadership, and civic engagement.
For this appeal I'm partnering with Voces de Cambio to hold a series of video production workshops for program graduates, out of which will come several short films shot, directed, and produced entirely by the girls. The workshops will take place over the course of two months and expand upon skills the girls have learned through their prior work in the program, providing them with tools to express themselves in exciting new ways. After the workshops are through I'll work with Voces de Cambio staff to help integrate the new video curriculum into their regular course work.
HOW THIS PROJECT WILL WORK
The workshops will be open to all interested Voces de Cambio graduates and, in keeping with the program mission, will be free to all participants. The workshops will include a general introduction to video and video production (generating ideas, research, storyboarding, lighting, audio, interview techniques, editing, digital distribution, etc.). We'll also spend a good chunk of time watching examples of video, examining its effectiveness in social commentary, looking particularly at videos produced by other youth working in a similar vein to Voces de Cambio.
A portion of the budget includes money to supply the program with some initial video cameras, and once participants have a handle on the basics they'll be split up into groups to start work on their own short films. Within their groups they'll collaborate on screenwriting, take turns shooting and directing, and work together to edit their videos. Throughout this phase of the project everyone will meet back up regularly to share ideas, discuss progress, and solve problems together as a whole. Given our limited time and resources subject matter for the videos will center around relevant and accessible issues, with a focus on setting achievable goals and working through a project from start to finish.
To celebrate the successful completion of the workshops we'll organize a public reception and screening where the girls can celebrate their hard work with family and friends, as well as with the general public. Of course, for those not able to make it down to Guatemala the videos will be available online through the Voces de Cambio website.
When not leading the workshops directly I’ll be working on a short film of my own built around interviews with Voces de Cambio participants and their families, looking at how the program has influenced their lives. My aim is to make this a collaborative project with the girls and an extension of the workshops, offering participants further hands-on experience outside of the classroom. This film, or at least a rough cut, will be shown alongside the girls' work at the public screening, and will also be available to Voces de Cambio to help raise awareness about the program.
WHY FUND THIS APPEAL?
I've volunteered with Voces de Cambio since its beginnings and it really is an incredible experience watching these young voices develop and strengthen through their involvement in this program. In the short-term, this project has the potential to impart some new skills, and create some great short films (and I know these videos will be a source of inspiration and learning for other youth both in Guatemala and abroad.) In the long-term, the curriculum developed for these workshops will make video a regular part of the core program, benefitting future program participants as they explore the important issues surfaced through Voces de Cambio. In effect, your backing of this one project will continue to benefit the program long after these workshops are over.
From the Voces de Cambio website: "The authentic participation of young people is critical to the development and protection of a democratic society, and young women have a particular role to play in shaping a positive future." This project will give the participants of this exciting program yet another tool to continue shaping that future.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more on Voces de Cambio visit them at: vocesdecambio.org. You can also find more of the girl's photography over on their Flickr site. I’ll be here answering any questions you might have about this project, and posting regular updates about our progress. We'll also have news about some special giveaways we have planned for our backers.
- (43 days)