Fourth film-making workshop in Dbayeh

The end of 2023 marked the conclusion of the fourth out of ten workshops that are part of the “Creative Expression through Films” – Taabir project.

The project and its workshops aim to motivate people from all regions of Lebanon to express their ideas and desires for social change in a creative way and thus participate in the public discourse on Lebanon’s political, social, cultural and economic development. These workshops use film expression and embrace diversity by targeting people from various regional, social, cultural and educational backgrounds and ages living in Lebanon. Its inclusive politics and the ultimate objective aim is to reach marginalised communities and to relocate cultural access from urban centres to rural areas.

We had the opportunity to work with an amazing team, very motivated participants and highly supportive local collaborators: Sarmada in the Chouf, Sawt w Soura in Beirut, Ishbilia and Fabrika in the Saida-Workshop in Beirut and recently the Popular Committee Centre in Dbayeh Camp. Six more workshops at other locations are planned for 2024.

Originally, a workshop was planned at the end of October 2023 in Baalbek with our local collaborator LOST – The Lebanese Organisation for Studies and Training. However, due to the tense situation in Lebanon following the Hamas attack on Israel, the team and its local partners decided to postpone this workshop in Baalbek to 2024.

Several weeks later and closer to Beirut, we were able to conduct a fourth five-day workshop from 1 – 5 December with the Dbayeh Camp Popular Committee Centre. The participants came from Dbayeh Camp itself, located 12 kilometres north of Beirut,  and from the Beirut area. This highly motivated group of six participants between the ages of 18 and 45 explored their surroundings in this lively neighbourhood and discovered new places. Under the guidance of the trainers and film experts Yara Nashawaty and Corine Shawi, they gained experience in recognising and developing their own film language by shooting short individual video diaries. As before, each participant was given a semi-professional camera and a monopod or tripod.

”I had a great time meeting new people and discovering various shooting methods and techniques. Learning about choosing the right angle was especially interesting.”, Jana Fouani, one of the participants, said, “What made it even more exciting was gaining insights from the instructor’s experience. I really loved being here.”

Christophe Haber, another participant, described working with the group and the trainers: “The most exciting aspect of the workshop was anticipating the next exercise and eagerly awaiting feedback on the results of my efforts. The analysis of the diaries was particularly enjoyable, as each session brought a unique perspective. It was fascinating to witness how they delved into each diary, and I often found myself wondering if they had noticed the specific details I aimed to convey. And I always had a question in my mind, ‘Did I successfully articulate my ideas to them?’”. 

After these five intensive days, the screening of selected video diaries and a get-together of the participants and their invited friends, families and the camp community marked the successful conclusion of this fourth “Creative Expression through Films” – Taabir workshop. We are all now looking forward to the continuation in 2024 with six more workshops in different locations across Lebanon.

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.