There are about 179,000 people living in the Kakuma refugee camp. This may look like just a number, but individual and personal stories are behind every refugee. With our project we focus on personal empowerment through creativity. Everybody has a talent and in our different workshops and courses you get a chance to explore it.
Our goal is to create a space in the refugee camp where youth can meet and talk about ideas, art and own projects. Through organizing a festival as a group we will support team building. Participants will have responsibilities and have the chance to implement their own ideas.
Kakuma refugee camp has occasionally had conflicts as a result of differences in nationality and ethnicity. It has over 15 nationalities and different ethnic groups living together. Learning Design, Photography and Film skills will bring the youths together with a common goal, hence build a peaceful relationship within the camp and being able to understand and appreciate each others culture.
We will try to have a mixed group of individuals between 16 and 35 years of age. We welcome people who have dropped out of school or who might not know how to write and read. They still have talents and might explore their talent in art. As you learn a lot from your team members we would like to have a diverse group of people with different backgrounds in culture, education and different age.
Our project consists of 4 phases:
1. Design and media course (2 months)
2. Workshops (2 weeks)
4. Reaching sustainability
PHASE 1: a two months courses with 3-4 teachers/workshop conductors and around 30 students
Main objective: Team building, establishing a safe zone to be creative, impart knowledge of basic design, photography and film skills.
Target group: Young people who are interested in learning design and media skills.
Design, photography and film skills are shared through different workshops. The workshops are based on our experiences with USANII LAB. The main motto is “learning by doing”. Most workshops have the same basic structure:
- developing an idea
- handcrafting it
- continue designing it on the computer
Take the logotype workshop as an example: First the logo is designed with spray paint and stencils. It can be spray-painted on the cover of a sketchbook (+learning some crafts: how to bind an exercise book in a few hours) and finally converted to a vector graphic on a computer.
The workshops remain short in the beginning to achieve a rewarding outcome for everyone at the end of the day. Each creative output is presented to others and discussed within the group.
During later stages the workshops may include group work and have a duration of several days.
An important goal of the workshops - beside team building - is removing the preconceptions of what it means to be creative that are inhibiting the creativity. It’s all about ideas - they don’t have to be perfect but can be the start of something. As an example see this video from “Object recycling” workshop.
This goes hand in hand with learning computer skills. First we will teach digital literacy, what cloud computing is (using dropbox, google docs, ...) and then teach some Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign skills in different workshops.
A variety of workshops is planned:
Designing a logo, designing your own book, making a stop motion movie/animation, doing a short film, learning how to make photo portraits, designing a movie poster.
Here are the ideas for photography and film workshops from USANII LAB's workshop conductor Ekwam James Chemose who organized the pilot project in Kakuma refugee camp:
Photography workshop will entail: Skills on handling a camera, camera settings, learn how to edit pictures and how to write captions for them. In addition they are going to learn how to present their pictures and to organize exhibitions.
Filming workshop will include: Skills on handling a camera, camera settings, learn editing, learning how to make documentaries and movies. The trainees will be asked to come up with ideas of documentaries and movies they want to make. Afterwards, in groups they are going to form members of the crew and cast. The production team will strictly be from among the trainees under the supervision of a trainer. The film and the documentary will therefore be screened at the end of the festival in Phase 3. The films and documentaries produced will in future participate in international and national Film festival e.g Slum film festival, Lola film festival and Kenya International Film Festival.
PHASE 2: two weeks workshop festival
The participants of PHASE 1 will help organize the festival for 8 workshop conductors and around 120 students.
Main objective: learning to know different artists that are conducting the workshops and different styles and ideas, reaching a wider audience. The participants from Phase 1 may now take more responsibility in helping with the organization, but they just as well take part in the workshops
Target group: young people who want to try out something creative and have fun.
The workshops are open for more participants. There are workshops planned in the fields of music, film, photography, fashion, design and art. Each workshop lasts one week and has 15 participants. The workshops can be repeated (one in the first week, the same one in the second week for a different group). Depending on the workshop conductors the workshops can also build on each other such as recording a song during the first week, then shooting a music video with the song in the second week.
During this time the participants of phase 1 regularly meet to organize the festival/exhibition (PHASE 3)
PHASE 3: one day festival/exhibition
Main objective: presenting the output of Phase 1 and 2. The participants of the 2 months training will help document everything, presenting the created art works, photos and films to the other residents of the refugee camp.
The participants of phase one will set up an exhibition place, document the workshops and festival in a small magazine and will edit a documentary which will be screened.
All output will be not only shown in the camp but also documented on a website.
PHASE 4: how does it go on? how will the project be sustainable?
Through our experience with USANII LAB we know that youth develop their own ideas and projects, so it highly depends on the participants how it will go on after phase 3. As we work with them to train them as multipliers, they will be able to conduct workshops themselves and train others.
What we offer is support for the team in the camp: through exchange of ideas and contact which would require internet access for them (for now we share a whatsapp group with the participants from the pilot project) as well as organizing new workshops every few months to give new input from outside the camp.