Third film workshop in Beirut with participants from Saida

Everything was prepared for the third workshop of “Taabir – Creative Expression through Films”, which was to take place in Saida on 9-13 September. But the day before the planned start, renewed clashes in the Ain el Hilweh camp shook the city of Saida. To ensure the safety of all participants, we decided to move the workshop to Beirut at very short notice.

Seven participants were brought from Saida early in the morning of 9 September and stayed in Beirut for the duration of the five-day-workshop. Unfortunately, the eighth participant had to cancel because she and her family could not leave the camp due to the clashes.

As a result of the situation, this workshop was a collaboration with two very engaged local partners: Ishbilia Theatre and Art Hub in Saida, and Fabrika who welcomed the workshop’s team and participants spontaneously in their beautiful shared cultural space in Beirut’s Ashrafiye.

A very motivated group of seven participants, young women and men mainly in their twenties from Saida, were exploring their new surroundings, working and filming creatively in Beirut. Every participant was provided with a semi-professional camera and a monopod/tripod.

Karim Ammar, one of the participants, said, “The thing that impacted me the most in this workshop was learning how to convey my emotions effectively through my videos, and making the audience feel the experiences I am going through.” 

Filmed in the immediate vicinity of the workshop and at their temporary accommodations, the exercises they did as part of the workshop led and guided by the two trainers Corine Shawi and Yara Nashawaty, took the form of shot/edited personal diaries.

“This workshop helped me become more patient and appreciate each moment, whether it’s just a second, a minute, an hour, or even ten hours. It has greatly contributed to my ability to trust every moment that I am filming!”, added Mazen Khadra. Yara Zbib, who described herself usually as tending to procrastinate a lot and hesitant, discovered, “With Taabir, I didn’t have the luxury of being hesitant. I had to work quickly and complete everything on time, and honestly, it greatly benefited me.”

After those five intense days the screening of selected video diaries and a get-together for the participants and their invited friends marked the end of this special Taabir workshop Saida/Beirut.

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.