Conversation Club 28th May 2015
Yesterday we got together and ran another successful filmmaking workshop and conversation club for a few of our collective members and international students at the University of Leeds…
First of all a huge thanks to Carolin, Sabina and Jadzia from the Language Zone who put forward the idea for this workshop and to Jess for helping me to plan and come up with inspiring openings for our conversations! Alley and Emma from Trinity vision also joined us and captured the whole event in wonderful detail as our camera and sound women.
This was only our second workshop but I am already so keen to really get into the crux of what kind of interactive projects the collective wants to produce over the coming years. We screened our launch highlights film which was shot on International Women’s day this year to get the conversation and ideas flowing. The workshop quickly flourished into some poignant and provocative discussions, almost immediately turning toward the question I’ve been hoping we would discuss: how can we define being an international women in Leeds? A few in our collective are actually local British born women that count themselves a part of Leeds’ international community through either their career or social lives and connections, my self included. So we began to discuss the diversity of the community and how our interactive projects could reveal the nuances amongst the various groups within our community in a bid to hopefully bring us all together, even if just for a few hours to share and document our experiences and opinions.
During the workshop we were using a mixture of small handheld HD cameras and a Canon C100 camera with separate audio recorders and a portable boom attached to the Canon to record sound. Everyone pitched in with the filming and it was all about gaining experience both in capturing our collective thoughts and using the equipment to record different aspects of the conversations and the break away discussions that came through. With smaller numbers in this workshop, participation at filming level definitely increased- as did the confidence of our newer voices from Joyce (China), Aala (Oman) and Assel (Kazakhstan).
The collective came up with some smaller off shoot interactions that we could generate; such as using twitter and snap chat to record ‘a day in the life of international Leeds’. And we are already forming concepts as to how we can output our films and media interactions onto an interactive online platform.
This workshop has really cemented for me that our project is already beginning to achieve what I had hoped for when I first thought of it a few years ago: it is bringing together our diverse community of international women in Leeds, building confidence for us all to create media and participate and run events which signal our importance and contributions to the city, successfully forming a collective of women to begin making our own interactive documentary about life in Leeds as an international women.
Next stop: collective editing sessions to create a short film from the footage we captured during our workshop!