Why ‘Find Your Voice’ project?
‘Find Your Voice’ was designed for teenage girls and young women to learn digital, technical and artistic skills to create a video on a topic they care about, and to give them confidence and knowledge to become ready to post their creations online.
Influencing the societies in the 21st century increasingly relies on the ability to have a voice in the public online discourse. Being an active online creator, in turn, requires a varied set of skills: from digital and technical, through artistic and creative to having a personal capacity and resilience to take part in the public debate online.
Video in recent years is becoming one of the most prevalent forms of online communication. The process of video-making develops all of these skills through practical application and a very personal project. These are also highly valued skills in the 21st-century economy.
It is important that the generation of today’s teenagers and young women have these skills, to fully participate in shaping our societies and their future.
‘Find Your Voice’ project summary
Nine teenagers and young women, aged 16-22 participated in 7 all-day workshops that covered various aspects of video-making and online content creation. The workshops took place between November 2018 and March 2019 on selected weekend days.
In the course of these workshops the participants:
- developed a set of hard skills such as the use of editing programmes and understanding of technical aspects of filming (camera and light settings etc.)
- strengthened their creative and artistic skills to find ways of expressing and refining their messages to have an impact on the audience
- increased their digital awareness and understanding of how content becomes visible on the Internet and social media, and developed ideas on how to promote their work online and offline
- discussed personal branding online and how to manage channels as administrators, learning a distinction between free speech and hate speech
- discovered legal aspects of film-making such as copyright and consent issues
- had the opportunity to discuss how to deal with online comments and negative feedback, personal setbacks, and learnt how to develop trust in their own artistic process and needs
- exercised their organisational skills by planning the full video production process, and also by managing this project alongside demanding schedules of their high-schools and university studies
- have opportunities to participate in various public events, where we showcase the results of the project, present their videos and answer audience questions and through that improve their public speaking skills and build their confidence.
“Don’t let fear stop you” is a video created by one of the project participants, Laure Robbens, in which she interviews other project participants about the experience.
Nine girls and young women each found a topic, wrote and refined a script, filmed and edited a short video.
The topics of their videos are very meaningful, and vary greatly. For example, 16-year -old Zoe Popovici interviewed her father about his memories of socialist Romania to remind young people today to “Never take freedom for granted“. Nuria Outojane, 20 years old, filmed a short movie “Eh, Felaini!” shows what it is like to have Afro-hair. Diana Przeor, 16 years old, created a short film “Searching” that shows the journey of human existence.
The videos were premiered on the 27.03.2019 at Google Digital Atelier, with 75 people attending the event. The videos will also be part of the ‘Next Generation, Please!‘ exhibition in BOZAR from 9th May until 30th July 2019.
Three participants of ‘Find Your Voice’ were interviewed by BRUZZ TV about their creations and the adventure of being part of the project. Another one was featured in ‘T’es de sortie‘ programme on BX1 TV.
In addition to gaining the video-making skills and personal capacities to participate in the public online discourse, the participants became good friends and the group developed into a peer support network of women with similar ambitions and aspirations. A strong sense of sisterhood bloomed between these women and the project meetings became a safe environment to share creative ideas and grow together.
What is next for ‘Find Your Voice’ project?
The European Activism Incubator has also launched a video-production service (videos for social media or short documentaries) to provide the graduates of the first edition of “Find Your Voice” an opportunity to further apply their skills in the real-life settings and make earnings that will support their careers and future artistic projects.
The project was envisioned as a pilot, to test the educational process and prove what results it can bring. The course can now be offered in a variety of settings, for various target groups and with various emphases.
For example, it can become a stage for the daughters of employees in large companies, it can be a programme that improves the presence of women in public debates and on expert panels, it can be offered as a project to improve employability in the 21st-century economy or be given in social and even rehabilitative settings.
Who made this project possible?
The workshops also featured guest speakers who shared their experiences with content creation and speaking publicly online: Anissa Boujdaini (writer and journalist), Marie-Eglantine Petit (YouTube creator, vlogger and stand-up comedian), Emily Stoker (online content strategist and entrepreneur), and Aleksandra Mierzwa (lawyer and film producer, Margins).
Photos of ‘Find Your Voice’ project by Nick Kuskin.