In the last two months, ERA in cooperation with its two member organisations in Serbia, Da Se Zna! and Come Out as well as Dutch organisation Stichting art.1 have hosted three capacity building trainings on filmmaking, storytelling and radio/podcasting, aiming to utilise different forms of art, media and technologies as tools for advancing the rights of LGBTI+ people. The main beneficiaries of these trainings were young people (aged 15-24 years old). The trainings were hosted by Da Se Zna! on filmmaking (Belgrade 27-31 March), by Come Out on storytelling (Novi Sad 1-6 April) and again by Come Out on Radio and Podcasting (Novi Sad 29 May to 1 June). All trainings were facilitated by experts coming to Serbia from the Netherlands thanks to Stichting Art 1.
The film-making training provided knowledge on cameras and basic film techniques, writing techniques, practical film exercises, discussing concrete film ideas, editing, utilization of Adobe Premiere and storytelling theory. At the end of the training, participants managed to combine all the knowledge accumulated and created a short film together which was also premiered at the end of the training. Participants at the training (as well as other young people in Serbia) are in the meantime bein provided with assistance in creating short films. A mentor has been appointed who is guiding them on the process, meawhile the Rainbow House in Belgrade has now an IdeaLab corner where young film-makers can edit their materials and work.
The storytelling training in Novi Sad provided young people with more knowledge on this particular art. The training was delivered by Fouad Lakbir from the Storytelling Center in Amsterdam. During the training they had the chance to work on their personal stories, to develop them and prepare them to be presented, using the techniques of storytelling. By the end of the training, all participants shared their stories with the group, based on their experience of being a part of the LGBTI community in Serbia. During the last day of the training – train of the trainers – the participants learned how to use the knowledge they’ve obtained and how to transfer it to their peers and the community. Stories made in the training can be used as a part of the performance by the end of the year, organized in Novi Sad or Belgrade.
The training on radio and podcast was delivered by Lotte van Gaalen and Salim Salameh from Amsterdam, experienced in producing radio and podcast content in the Netherlands. The total of 8 participants learned the basics of creating the story usable as the radio or podcast content. They had the chance to learn how to use the professional voice recorders and voice editing programs. Each of the participants had the time to write their stories, record them and then edit them in the way they like. By the end of the training, all of them presented the recorder stories, powerful personal stories of discrimination, self identification, insecurities, everyday fears, etc. Group COME OUT will organize the exhibition of their stories in Novi Sad by the end of the year, in order to increase the visibility and the voice of the oppressed in the society. The last day of the training, the participants learned how to use the knowledge and skills in order to transfer them to their peers and the community, from a role of a trainer.
All three trainings have been conducted in the framework of the project “Youth Artivists for Change” which is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Creative Twining scheme. Art 1 is the main applicant of the project, which focuses on participation of young people (15-24 years old) in film, theater, podcast and storytelling activities. The main goal is to provide them with the tools that will empower them to speak up about social awareness on LGBTI+ rights and human rights in general as well as gender equality through the arts. The project is taking place in four countries of the ERA region: Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia through the engagement of 17 organisations working within arts, culture, gender equality and LGBTI+ rights. We are very happy to point out that many ERA members from all these countries are involved in the project and are cooperating with Stichting Art 1. This alliance connects young people of different cultural backgrounds through activities such as launch of LGBTI+ film fesivals, photo exhibitions, debates and multiplier events to disseminate the results of the project.