Film making workshop #6 in Hammana, Lebanon

The TAABIR team, with the support of Hammana Artist House, organised Workshop No. 6 – the second this year – from 17 to 21 May 2024 in Hammana, and more specifically at the Hammana Artist House. Its beautiful location and surroundings contributed positively to the atmosphere of the workshop and provided a pleasant and inspiring environment. The seven participants, aged between 18 and 30, mostly from the local area, were introduced by trainers and film experts Yara Nashawaty and Corine Shawi to the workshop concept of creating video diaries as a way of self-expression.

“When I first arrived at the workshop, I found myself among strangers, unsure of what to expect. However, as we were tasked with our initial exercise, which focused on creative expression rather than technical intricacies, it served as a foundational introduction to the workshop’s essence. Through this exercise, I not only grasped the overarching purpose of the workshop but also had the opportunity to connect with my fellow participants as we shared our filmed creations.” Robert Minassian, one of the participants, described his experience. ”To me, filming people I didn’t know initially posed a challenge, as building trust and connection with strangers wasn’t something that came naturally. However, despite the initial difficulty, I pushed through and managed to establish those connections. This workshop pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to attempt things I once believed were beyond my capabilities. Through this workshop, I learned to pay more attention to sound and to perceive images from multiple perspectives. It helped me develop a deeper understanding of my filming language.”
Some participants, like Ghinwa Al Khatib, have never worked with a semi- professional camera before. “In the beginning, I faced a challenge due to my lack of background in filming”, she said, “However, with perseverance and practice, I gradually found my rhythm and developed a harmonious relationship with the camera. It transformed from an intimidating device into a tool that I confidently wielded to express my creative vision. The workshop empowered me to express myself more freely and to trust my creative vision, both within the context of our projects and in my personal life. It facilitated a profound development in how I perceive things, enhancing not only my artistic expression but also my overall perspective on life.”

At the end of the fifth day, selected video diaries created during the Hammana workshop were screened to the participants and the local community. In the next issue of this newsletter, you can read about our 8th workshop in Mtein and the annual screening in Beirut, where a collection of video diaries created during the first five workshops will be shown.

The project “Creative Expression through Films” is implemented by elbarlament e.V. and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. Find out more about it here.