With a grant from Calgary 2012 (Calgary’s cultural capital bid), I am now a project looking for ideas and youth who want to participate. All I know at this point is that it will involve documentary filmmaking, that it will start around September, and that the project should connect youth with significant issues and their own sense of power in affecting those issues.
How are we going to do this? Well I haven’t figured that out yet. Maybe you can help me tackle some of these questions.
What themes would be worthwhile exploring?
This is the year for Calgary 2012 so why not explore the urban design of the city? Most students and I would say most adults don’t have a good sense of how the city works (or doesn’t work). What if we had students learn about their cityscape Jane Jacobs style exploring and observing transportation, water sanitation, building construction, usage of public space? Would the city allow us in?
Or perhaps the youth can seek out exceptional Calgarians who lead by speaking the difficult truths and standing up for fairness and justice. These types of leaders are not necessarily the ones celebrated by the mainstream, but they’re the ones that actually shift the way the mainstream think. But where would I find such Calgarians?
Or can the projects by Calgary 2012 artists become the source for youth to investigate? What will the link be between art projects and community?
What format should the project take?
I could re-run Reel World Youth Documentaries at a school as Kate and I piloted at the end of last year. See reelworldyouth.org for some of the details. I loved the engagement by the class and its integration with the curriculum. However, the time constraints were tight and we couldn’t dedicate enough time needed for field trips and research. If I were to do it again, I’d be looking for a school willing to dedicate weeks worth of time to it.
Or rather than running it on top of school curriculum, perhaps it could be a month long intensive program that takes the place of a segment of a course permitting me daily contact. The challenge here is that interviews would be more difficult to arrange in that short amount of time unless more prep was done.
Which school or class would be right for this?
Do you know of a school or a teacher or a group of youth or even a single youth that would have the flexibility to run an intensive yet engaging program such as this? Then let me know and propose your idea to me. I’m open for suggestions!
There you have it. It’s a project waiting for the right creative constraint. Please spread the word.