Senegal by Federica

Cineastas en Acción (Filmmakers in Action)

The beauty of new technologies is the precise unification of interests and forces. People can easily communicate across the world and share similar experiences; it can be a learning tool for those willing to learn. Federica Romeo from Cineastas en Acción (Filmmakers in Action) contacted me through Twitter almost a month ago, while she was in Senegal providing film workshops to local children and teens. Since we shared so much in common, her project immediately caught my attention, and although I usually document the work of other NGOs through People of Change’s perspective, I thought it would be wiser to have Federica share her own words.

Below you can find the article written in SPANISH by Federica Romeo, president of Cineastas en Acción, and translated to ENGLISH by People of Change.

ENGLISH
My name is Federica Romeo and I represent the Cineastas en Acción (Filmmakers in Action), an NGO that promotes the cultural exchange between Africa and Spain through filmmaking.

During the past month of August, we made our first project, some audiovisual workshops in Casamanca, South of Senegal. Eli, a Senegalese boy from Salamanca gave the video workshop to 15 students, who were between 13 and 17 years old. Lucia, an ex-student at the University Complutense de Madrid, provided the photography workshop to 17 students between 7 and 12 years of age, and also the drawing workshop, with kids who were up to 5 years old. The number varied day after day.

The great majority of students had never used any camera before; at first, they were very timid, but after the first week, they were seduced by the technology and full of energy to keep learning. And the truth is they learned very fast; so fast that the results were surprisingly good.

Now, we are thinking about organizing an exposition with the works accomplished by the students: photographies and a documentary that will travel all across Spain, teaching the Spanish population the results of our work and in a way, we expect to obtain enough funding for further workshops in 2012.

Our NGO promotes the cultural exchange through filmmaking and audiovisual; we believe that education is the best manner to stop prejudices and promote tolerance and peace.

For more information, visit our blog.

SPANISH
Mi nombre es Federica Romeo y represento a Cineastas en Acción, una ONG que promueve el intercambio cultural entre África y España a través del cine.

El pasado mes de agosto, llevamos a cabo nuestro primer proyecto, unos talleres audiovisuals en la Casamance, al sur de Senegal. Eli, un chico senegalés originario de la Casamance, impartió el taller de video, a unos 15 alumnos de entre 13 y 17 años. Lucia, una ex alumna de la Complutense de Madrid, impartió el de foto a unos 17 alumnos de entre 7 y 12 años y yo el de dibujo, con los más pequeños, de entre 3 y 5 y cuyo número variaba cada día.

La mayoría de los alumnos no habían manejado nunca ninguna cámara; al principio se mostraban muy tímidos, pero a partir de la primera semana se les veía ilusionados y llenos de ganas de aprender. Y la verdad es que ¡aprendieron muy rápido! Tan rápido, que los resultados fueron sorprendentemente buenos.

Ahora estamos pensando en organizar una muestra itinerante con los trabajos realizados por los alumnos: fotografías y un documental que viajarán por toda España enseñando al público español los resultados de nuestro trabajo y una manera, esperamos, para conseguir los fondos para los talleres del 2012.

Nuestra ONG promueve el intercambio cultural a través del cine y del audiovisual; creemos que la educación es la mejor manera para borrar prejuicios y favorecer la tolerancia y la paz.

Visita nuestro blog.