Yemen : Camera as Voice

Project Dates: September 2009 - February 2011

Overview

The Camera as Voice project used film to give young people opportunities for expression and dialogue about complex issues including globalization, anti-Westernism, modernization, alienation and community disadvantage – all issues that can contribute to radicalism.

IREX Europe and IREX, working with the Youth Leadership Development Foundation, based in Sana’a, trained youth organizations in Aden, Taiz, Hadramot, and Ibb to build their capacity to offer youth training and leadership programs. The young people’s films were woven together to produce professional documentary serving as a “tapestry” of young Yemenis’ views on these issues.

Youth were given tools and guidance for producing their own fiction or documentary films, encouraging them to explore and address issues important to them in their own voices. Production of the films will empower youth with new technology skills, as well as encouraging them to find creative and productive outlets for self-expression. The program reaches out to youth susceptible to radicalization to counter voices of extremism and encourage them to explore these issues critically and constructively. The films will be shared among NGOs to encourage dialogue, and woven together into one larger production bringing together individual stories to focus discussion on themes contributing to radicalism.

This 12-month program was funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Objectives

- Empower moderate Yemeni youth to express their views and promote discussion of critical issues that counter the extremist narrative.
- Change perceptions about issues related to radicalization in the Yemeni community
- Expose youth susceptible to radicalization to moderate ideas and opportunities for dialogue through viewing the program’s films

Project Activities

- Youth empowerment NGOs in Sana’a, Adenm Taiz, Hadramont, and Ibb will be trained and provided with video equipment to assist youth in using film as a medium of expression to complement the curricula of their youth programs
- A series of live viewing and discussion sessions of film(s) will be conducted in targeted communities
- A tapestry film will be produced addressing issues such as globalisation/ anti-Westernism, modernisation, alienation and community disadvantage and others contributing to radicalism.

Project History

IREX and IREX Europe will build upon the success of the Bangladesh Mobile Cinema project — funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO Strategic Programme Fund, formerly known as the Global Opportunities Fund) — to explore similar themes in Yemen. It will also build on its successful collaboration with the Yemeni NGO Youth Leadership Development Foundation, with which it implemented the Young Women Leadership Program with support from the FCO.

Project News

- Yemeni Youth Develop Filmmaking Skills to Address Extremism
- Yemeni Project Coordinator Stimulates Youth Dialogue through Film



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Funders:

- United Kingdom’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)

Partners:

YLDF is a Yemeni non-governmental organization which aims to increase youth participation. The organization was recently honoured by the League of Arab States as among the most effective youth initiatives in the Arab region.

Training of Trainers in San’aa

Popular Youth films

In Ibb, 6 short documentary films were made. The popular film ’The Bad Choice’ discussed the difficulties in finding employment as a university graduate in Yemen.

In Sana’a, six short films were produced. The popular film ’Free but Suspended’ examines links between education and radicalisation.

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