Founded in 2011, Project Istwa is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that conducts a series of seven-day photography workshops and youth development programs for youth throughout Haiti. While the global media coverage of Haiti is significant, particularly after the January 2010 earthquake, opportunities for Haitians to portray their views and direct perspectives of their country are limited. The purpose of Project Istwa is to allow participants to use photography to communicate what is important to them and how they see their world. The roots of Project Istwa lie in the original photovoice approach that uses photography and narrative as both a tool of self-expression and advocacy within marginalized communities. Through the world of photography they have the opportunity to tell their story, their way, through their own eyes. Project Istwa also incorporates youth and community development components.
During each workshop, participants are given a digital camera so they can take pictures that show what a day in their life looks like from their perspective. Working with facilitators, participants learn about their cameras and photography and photograph their surroundings. The workshop week includes group work and individual work. Among other activities, after practicing a variety of shots participants go on a community walk with facilitators for further practice. Participants view and discuss each other’s photographs. These sessions open up a dialogue within the group about what each individual is seeing and wanting to communicate through their photographs. In addition, all participants meet one-on-one with facilitators for a more in-depth conversation about the photographs they took and their significance. Each participant captions a particular group of his or her photographs through these individual sessions. At the end of the week they show their captioned photographs to family, friends and community members in a public exhibit in their neighborhood.
Throughout the week music, dance, icebreakers, drawing and writing exercises are employed as youth and community development tools. Every participant keeps their matted and captioned photographs put on display in the community exhibit as well as a photo album of photographs of them working throughout the week and photographs not included in the community exhibit. In addition to members of each community, local officials and leaders are also invited to each community exhibit so that the participants’ perspectives can be communicated to political decision makers.
Project Istwa has completed nine workshops in Cité Soleil, Petion-Ville, Hinche, Port-Salut, Jacmel, Miragoâne, Jérémie, Fort-Liberté and Cap-Haïtien, in partnership with Konbit Pou Edikasyon (KPE), Salvation Army Haiti, Tek4Kids, Plan Haiti and many other organizations.
There are several goals Project Istwa seeks to accomplish. First and foremost, the hope is that the participants simply have fun and that they find the workshop fulfilling. While that is the main priority, Project Istwa is also designed both as a community building activity and as an empowering exercise that will hopefully leave the children with a feeling that their perspectives and ideas matter.
To ensure that the scope and purpose of Project Istwa extends beyond each workshop, initiatives are in progress to maintain a long-term relationship between Project Istwa and Project Istwa alumni. One of these initiatives will focus on connecting the youth who participate in Project Istwa so that they can see how others their age live and view their lives in Haiti. Project Istwa also seeks to maintain long-term relationships with alumni and their communities by facilitating participant driven community development projects. For as many groups as is feasible Project Istwa will meet with participants after their completion of the workshop to hear from them what they want and need in their communities. Project Istwa then strives to facilitate the necessary fundraising and partnerships to implement these projects.
The documentary filmmaker volunteer will accompany the January 2014 Istwa team to the communities of Gonaives and Port-de-Paix and work closely with our workshop Director and facilitators to create a promotional video for Project Istwa. Depending on length of stay the volunteer will also travel to past workshop communities to shoot the Istwa team meeting with program alumni and youth development projects that take place. The team will also spend time at Project Istwa’s base in Port-au-Prince.
• Work with Project Istwa staff to come up with a concept for a promotional video (length TBD)
• Film all activities during the two workshops (and program alumni visits if applicable)
• Edit footage and obtain additional interviews and B-roll as necessary
• Submit a final draft of the film by March 15, 2014
*Responsibilities may not be limited to the above tasks.
The ideal candidate will:
• Have experience with film production and editing
• Have experience with educational or promotional video production
• Have experience working in an intercultural environment
• Have strong communication skills
• Provide necessary video equipment and editing software
• Be interested in a unique learning experience at a small, rapidly growing international non-profit
• Be creative!
• Housing and ground transportation will be provided for your whole duration in Haiti
• Lunch will be provided on workshop days
• An opportunity to work in a fast growing, diverse, grassroots organization
• A good learning environment for those interested in international development and youth programming
Workshop 1: January 2 – 12, 2014
Workshop 2 and Revisits: January 11 – 24, 2014 (option to stay longer)
†Ideally the filmmaker will stay the duration of Project Istwa’s January programs.
Salary: This is an unpaid volunteer opportunity; however, you may receive course credit.
To apply: Interested individuals should email a cover letter, resume/CV, 3 references and examples of work to email@example.com
Deadline: The deadline for applications for the winter 2014 workshops is Friday, November 15, 2013 at 11:59pm.
Questions? Email us at inquiries (at) projectistwa.org
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