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In Movement: Art for Social Change is an NGO based in Kampala, Uganda that implements arts education programs with underserved youth. Their goal is to empower young people through the arts to be active participants in society, and lead creative, productive, and meaningful lives.
Over the past month we had the opportunity to offer Bent Marble’s creative documentary workshops to a talented group of students from In Movement. While the organization typically offers classes in dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts, this notably represented the first time that it offered filmmaking classes to its constituents. And it was an amazing experience, for both teacher and students, from start to finish!
It was truly heartwarming how many of the participants seemed to fall in love with filmmaking over the course of the workshops. Though our classes were officially scheduled to meet for just two hours, it was not uncommon for students to keep working on their projects and learning for several hours more… and even request additional instruction on “off” days, which we were happy to provide. Many are already planning on making more films. And a few have even indicated they would like to pursue careers in the film and video industry, which is currently growing in Uganda.
Particularly impressive was how many developed a strong interest in video editing (an aspect of film production that is often considered tedious and difficult). This was true even for students who had very little prior experience with computers before the workshops! And perhaps most impressively, a couple participants even voiced their desire to pass on the filmmaking “bug”, by teaching others in their communities who don’t typically have access to this type of learning experience.
Have a listen now to a few of our In Movement participants speaking about how Bent Marble’s workshops have made an impact on them:
Participants chose diverse and interesting topics for their documentary projects, many of which had do to with their primary form of artistic expression. Subjects ranged from a local beatboxing instructor, to a dance company that has greatly impacted its members lives, to the importance of practice in breakdancing, to Capoeira (an Afro-Brazilian martial art and dance form that is growing in popularity in Uganda). Have a look now at the fine films produced by these first-time filmmakers, featured on our YouTube channel:
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(Click here to visit Bent Marble on YouTube)
And finally here are some photos from our Facebook page that show the participants deep in focus, pursuing their new passion, and enjoying the fruits of their labors:
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We would like to offer a special thanks to Rachelle Sloss, In Movement’s Country Director, for graciously welcoming us (sight unseen:) and giving us the opportunity to work with such a fine group of young people. We also are greatly indebted to Youth Program Manager, Ssemaganda Jeff Kenneth, for being our main liaison on the ground, for making sure that all laptops and cameras were ready to go for students working in and out of class on a daily basis, and, perhaps most of all, for making a moving tribute film about the positive impact Bent Marble has made at In Movement.
On a final personal note, we truly look forward to returning to Kampala, Uganda and In Movement in the coming year, not only to continue teaching and facilitating workshops, but also to see what the students have learned and created on their own. After all, once a movement has started it takes on a momentum of its own. And this outcome truly couldn’t make us happier!
Let’s keep this marble… err these marbles… rolling!!