Young Venezuelans speaking up through their filmsPublished: Jan 16, 2020 Reading time: 2 minutes
Towards the end of the year 2019 the Caracas neighborhoods of Sucre and Hatillo were dominated by the atmosphere of the Vamos en Corto Film Festival. Over several days 10 films focusing on the problems of local people were screened in public spaces. What is special about this festival is that all of the screened films were created by teenagers who grew up in these troubled neighborhoods, so through their films they had a chance to show the problems in their surroundings.
Venezuela is a country which, despite its vast oil reserves, has been undergoing both an economic and a political crisis for several years. The long-term unstable situation has caused a lack of primary human needs such as drinking water, food and medical supplies. Unfortunately, the sense of security and solidarity has also been lost. Regular social norms are violated and human rights are suppressed.
One of the most vulnerable groups in the country are young people growing up surrounded by omnipresent violence in an environment without prospects for a better future, The ReconciliACCION project was created as a joint venture by Oportunidad AC, Mujer y Ciudadanía, People in Need and the University of Monteavil, with financial support from the European Union in order to enable these young people to get involved in what is happening in their communities.
The students dealt creatively with the issues of human rights violations and domestic violence by visualizing their own stories and attitudes.
The first phase of the project was a 40-hour workshop, led by Manuel Aguirre and Maria Inmacualda and attended by secondary school students and students of the 4th year of Social Communication studies. University students first went through audio-visual training and then passed on their knowledge to the younger workshop participants.
The final stage of the venture was the screening of short films at the 1st year of the Vamos en Corto festival. The festival, which attracted around 500 spectators, is the result of the cooperation of over 100 students aged 15-21.
The aim of the ReconciliACCION project was to create a space for inter-community communication and self-expression, while also encouraging young people to actively participate in shaping a safer environment for themselves and their families. During the process, students learned to cooperate constructively, to seek non-violent solutions to conflicts and to promote human rights.
Vamos en Corto was launched for the first time in 2019 and thanks to the success of the venture, two more editions are planned for May and September 2020.
People in Need has been helping in Venezuela since 2014 as part of its Human Rights and Independent Civil Society Program. As a result, it has a network of partner NGOs as well as a stable small team. A significant part of PIN´s assistance is devoted to young people aspiring to improve the human rights situation in their country.