In the summer of 2010, AGIR collaborated with Mapping Memories at Concordia University on a digital media project to share LGBTQ refugee stories. The result was a collection of 13 short films called Entry Point: Queer Refugees in Montreal
This social media project introduced first time filmmakers from Africa, Caribbean and Central/South America to a variety of media skills in order to share their personal narratives. Offering a unique perspective regarding refugee experiences in Quebec and Canada, these 13 documentaries illustrate the complexity of being forced to leave everything connected to home behind and powerfully convey the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) refugees living in Montreal.
While each participant brought their own objectives, the overall goals for this social media project were to:
• Allow people to tell their stories on their own terms
• Offer an introduction to media skills (story development, sound scapes and recording, photo)
• Use workshops as a space to bring people together and tell stories
• Take stories public (public intervention) – response to new climate of policy reform
A series of 4 workshops were held every Tuesday (July 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th) over the month of July. These workshops were from 1:30 – 5:30pm.
Workshop #1 (Tuesday, July 6th, 2010) The first workshop focused on writing exercises and story development. This included creative writing and developing a short (one page or 400 word) narrative. In addition, participants were asked to identify their goals, and sign consent forms.
AT HOME: Participants continued to work on their narratives during the week and were asked to bring in objects, photos or other items that help tell their story visually for the second week.
Workshop #2 (Tuesday, July 13th, 2010) During Workshop 2, participants finished writing their narratives. Facilitators offered an introductory workshop on the creative process and on photo composition and story boarding. We will have digital cameras available for loan for participants to take photos between workshop 2 and 3. Additional hours to work on photos were available.
Additional Workshop – Thursday briefing on updates in refugee policy.
Workshop #3 (Tuesday, July 20th, 2010) During Workshop 3, participants shared and downloaded photos, recorded their stories, learned the open source program – audacity, and began to explores sound effects for their stories. We invited a professional photographer to work with each artist on personal portraits that they could integrate into their final stories.
Additional lab hours were offered between Workshop 3 and 4.
Workshop #4 (Tuesday, July 27th, 2010) Participants completed their narratives and were introduced to editing software.
Entry Point: Queer Refugees in Montreal
Date: Sunday, November 7th, 2010 (1:00pm)
AGIR, Arc-en-ciel d’Afrique and Mapping Memories are proud to present Entry Point: Queer Refugees in Montreal. This social media project introduced first time filmmakers from Africa, Carribbean and Central/South America to a variety of media skills in order to share their personal narratives. Offering a unique perspective regarding refugee experiences in Quebec and Canada, these 13 documentaries illustrate the complexity of being force to leave everything connected to home behind and powerfully convey the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) refugees living in Montreal.
You can see an example video on the page for the Carlos Atuesta campaign.
A copy of the DVD can be purchased for $20, including shipping in Canada. To order, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.