Our project seeks to create an open, honest dialogue in rural communities, as well as national and international communities, about issues surrounding motherhood and child-bearing in rural China. Workshops in filmmaking and interview techniques shall be offered to train young participants in the local community. After the workshops, participants will interview and film their mother at home, producing a series of short films to be shown at screening sessions in local, national and international communities. Discussion about women's issues will be encouraged on a variety of platforms
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
YingPanXu Village, rural Jiangxi Province
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
The school is located in the YingPanXu Village, rural Jiangxi Province, China. The village has limited connection to the internet and there are computers in the school for the children to use. The wider village community has a low level of computer literacy and many do not know how to use the internet. The children have a relatively high level of computer literacy and can use the internet, but do not have the chance to utilise social media or any other forms of technology or internet based creative expression. The community is not represented in any online forums. However, the community leaders and teachers are open to learning about computer technology and are eager to have their voice added to the online community.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Eleanor McCall (Organiser) (https://www.facebook.com/eleanor.mccall1000)
HengMei WU (www.weibo.com/guoxiangjiu)
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
10-15 participants aged between 10 and 15 years will attend workshops on film and interview techniques. Footage filmed by the children after the workshops will focus entirely on their mother. They will request to speak with their mother in the family home and, whilst holding the camera, will ask the mother questions concerning child-bearing and raising. The raw footage will then be used by the organisers to edit into ten films, each running for five minutes, each film will only use the footage from one child. The film will be edited in a way which emphasises the connection between the mother and child and the challenges that the mother may have experienced during child-bearing and raising, as well as the joys. These films will be used for screenings and added to a short documentary film.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
1. The organisation director, JianYi, is a documentary filmmaker and has connections to other filmmakers and film industries across China and in Kentucky, USA and in other countries. These people and organisers have already expressed interest in the project and will encourage the screenings in their areas. 2. Previous communication with local media outlets will give the project a greater chance of being picked up and reported on.
3. Previous communication with a local Chinese publisher will allow for greater chance of information booklet being accepted for publication by them. 4. We hope that we are able to engage other national and international communities with our project, especially in order to host screenings in their areas.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
The film and interview technique workshops will be run for 10-15 children from the local village Primary/Middle School. The hope is that the children will gain further understanding of the issues focused on by the project, and be able to contribute to the discourse throughout the rest of their lives. We also hope that they are interested in furthering their learning past the workshops, and will facilitate this by returning regularly to the village and to the school for future projects with the organisation, all of which use participatory media and can engage the same students in other activities. A booklet will train other communities through the results and processes of this project to undertake their own similar projects. Further training will be encouraged through communication with us.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
The organising team all have previous experience with filmmaking, mainly garnered through field work on previous projects and training from workshops hosted by our organisation IFChina, the director of the organisation is a documentary filmmaker and will be onboard to assist with student workshops. Filmmaking allows for wide dispersal to various communities around the world. Film is a medium easily interacted with. People from the local community have likely never been filmed before, at the screening of the films the community will see someone from their own daily lives on the big screen. This will undoubtedly create discussion and bring to the fore an issue that the community had not previously considered in great depth.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshop will be held in the local village Primary/Middle School. The school has around 20 computers in total, one per classroom. The internet is ADSL and we would estimate the speed to be slow-moderate, around 2.5 Mbps – 3Mbps. We would choose a classroom on arrival and link our hired projector to the computer. The classroom is basic, chairs and desks, but adequate for our needs as the children will mostly be using the camcorders which we distribute to pairs.
The editing will be done in the IFChina office, where we have one Apple computer connected to ADSL of about 5 Mbps.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
IFChina is a non-profit, grassroots organisation stimulating discussion about social issues through participatory media. IFChina has been working with the community since 2009 with various projects. Workshops have already been offered to the local community as well as to the local students. Previous workshops include, photography and environmental protection workshops. Various projects have also been conducted in the village including in 2013 a month-long photography summer camp, many participants staying with local families for the duration. As a result, the villagers know our organisation and many staff and volunteers have personal relationships with members of the local community, including the elderly, families, teachers and students. IFChina is planning future projects in the area.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Those in the village will primarily speak their own dialect separate from Mandarin Chinese which may lead to communication issues. Local teachers will be approached to help in this aspect. Some of the organisers are already familiar with the dialect due to previous work in the village and so can assist in the translation for subtitling. Time flexibility is also a challenge, in case of are any issues related to the student participants and their filming, extra time has been scheduled for the filming of more footage. Equipment damage is a concern, especially the camcorders given out to the student participants which could be damaged if misused. However, we will insure the camcorders in case of any accidental damage.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Our aim is to stimulate discussion, firstly, around the issues faced by rural Chinese women in child-bearing and raising and secondly, around challenges faced by all women in child-bearing and raising. The impact on the local community will be evaluated at the conclusion of the screening and discussion sessions. Discussion discourse will be filmed and recorded for addition to the documentary. The trained student participants will be interviewed about their thoughts on the project, their enjoyment of it and their feelings towards the issues presented. During all screenings and on social media platforms, if there are an open, honest discussion about the issues presented, this will define the project’s success in the local, national and international community.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
2014.5.10-2014.5.16 Training workshop: participants taught interview and film techniques
2014.5.16-2014.5.31 Participants to go to their homes and film during this time
2014.5.31-2014.6.5 Organisers to return to the village to collect footage and troubleshooting possible problems that the participants had during their time. Allow time to request students to shoot more footage.
2014.6.5-2014.7.7 Editing material into 10 short films. Subtitling. Uploading short films and onto social media platforms. Advertising to local media.
2014.7.8-2014.8.31 Screenings and discussion session at local community, other communities in China, Kentucky USA and other possible international communities (TBA) Producing 30-40 mins documentary.
2014.5.17.2014.8.31 Writing and publishing information booklet. Regularly updating social media platforms with information and photos.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Travel for staff and volunteers between rural community and IFChina office in Ji’An city (workshops, overseeing film project, hosting screening): $20 USD per trip per person, x3 trips x4 people = Total $240
Travel in rural area insurance: $60 USD per person, x4 people = Total $240
Food/Accommodation at the village: $35 per person per night, x4 people x6 nights = $840
Equipment insurance for hand-held HD digital camcorders being loaned to participants: $10 USD per camcorder, x5 camcorders = Total $50
Coordinator travel to other areas of China for hosting screenings (Beijing, Guangzhou, GanZhou): $600 USD
Projector hire for screenings: $20 USD
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
We would appreciate if Rising Voices could help us access more potential international organisations and individuals who would be interested in the project and would possibly like to host screenings of the completed films in their area. Also, general promotion of our project with links to contact us and to connect with our social media platforms would allow us to reach a wider audience.
IFChina Original Studio