Nigeria is part of West Africa and it is one-and-a-half times the size of France. The size of its population is enormous: about 150 million people. That means that one in six Africans is Nigerian. But the ethnic variety (250 ethnic groups) makes that there is no definition of a Nigerian. Many Nigerians are fervently religious, be it Muslim (50%, mainly in the North), Christian (40%, mainly in the South) or indigenous beliefs (about 10%).
The living conditions in Nigeria are very poor and the health care is inadequate. Some 1-2% of the population are extraordinary rich. But 7% of all Nigerian children don't live until the age of one, 18% don't see their fifth birthday, and those that do survive childhood can only expect to live until the age of 51. Although education is mandatory for all, finding school fees and places in schools and universities is difficult for the average Nigerian family. In the Niger Delta frequent oil spills and rampant deforestation worsens the living conditions even further.
Kenya, like many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, is not presently on track to meet the health-related Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 target. Since 2007 Kenya has initiated several processes to strengthen its health system and coordinate its work with donors and other development partners to avoid additional health-related reversals. To improve its information gathering and to better track its progress in meeting the health-related Millennium Development Goals, Kenya has developed a Health Management Information System (HMIS) and is currently working with international partners to improve its capacity to provide timely and relevant data regarding the country’s health situation to policymakers and other stakeholders.
Bulgaria is a country in Eastern Europe (EU member since 2007) that we visited in November/December 2008. We worked together with the Bulgarian Gay Organisation Gemini whose mission is to reach inclusive social environment for homosexual, bisexual and transgender people in Bulgaria. The organisation works for diminishing of all types of legal, social, cultural and economical discrimination and victimisation against lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT). It was the second country we visited with the exhibition Facing Lesbian Lives and the video workhops. It was the first time that we did a training of trainers and now BGO Gemini will be able to use Participatory Video as a tool for empowerment.
The participants become a film crew for the duration of the workshop. Through this simple transformation, the group is challenged to develop their abilities, both as collaborators and individual task-masters. Examples of these individual responsibilities include directing, camera-operation, sound-operation, production and acting.
Technical skills in film-making are taught throughout the workshop, such as translating ideas into a scenario, creating a storyboard, operating high-definition video camera, sound capture, interview techniques etc. Given the time constraint of most workshops, editing is done by the facilitators, directed by the participants.
In collaboration with Triangle Project, Facing Lesbian Lives organized a workshop on 'how to make a short movie' in Cape Town in May 2006.
A group of South African lesbian / bisexual women from widely varying cultural backgrounds and aged between 19-42 worked together as a film-crew during three 4-day workshops. The workshops were a challenge to participants to create a portrait in which they could represent personal aspects of themselves and their environment using (what was to most people) the unfamiliar medium of film. The short movies that resulted from the workshops tackle many interesting questions such as what its like to live in Cape Town as a young bisexual / lesbian, who one forms personal relationships with and the freedom to speak about one's sexual orientation. The ‘making of' shorts show the process of the video workshop and the mixture of fun and serious discussion. The workshops are organized with limited means and a high level of improvisation.