There are many pressing issues in the world today, some directly affect us while most are indirect and thus ignored. Young people have a thirst for knowledge and an acute interest in voicing viewpoints and thoughts on most issues but there isn’t a space for them to do so which is constructive as well as informative. So we held a documentary festival called Unreel on the 3rd of May at the British Council. The whole event was in an “open-space” unconference format which operates on a few basic principles, like ­ whoever comes are the right people, it starts when it starts, it ends when it ends and whatever happened is the only thing that could have taken place.

So let us give you a synopsis of what happened. Unreel started at around 10 am, with a decent crowd of about 40 young people and a few older ones. Our pre-selected list of about 40 documentaries contained 4 categories including a selection from the very popular and extremely provocative Ted Talks.

We decided an icebreaker would be a good thing to make everyone comfortable. Then after the introductions the crowd selected a documentary to watch. It was called I am that‘ directed by BB’s own Sachi Maniar based on the Hijra community in Mumbai, this prompted a discussion that lasted for about 20 minutes.

During the course of the day, the videos managed to bring out issues related to sexuality and sexual minorities (through this video and the documentary For The Bible Tells Me So), alienation and acceptance (through Dilon’s video, he was one of the participants at the event). Issues related to poverty, global development, aid, the third world (with the aid of these fantastic Ted Videos 1,2,3) all proved extremely constructive. The discussions also took place on the ethnic conflict provoked by a couple of videos based on LTTE suicide bombers and the propaganda unit.

Unreel we thought went well, the discussions were very animated and it was nice to see people passionate about solving the issues prevalent in the world. We certainly had a lot of fun talking as well as listening to everyone.

We are planning on blogging on some of the issues that were brought out during the festival. So till then, enjoy our other posts. Some Pics from the event are here. If you’d like to be informed of events like this in the future do drop us an email slbeyondborders[at]gmail.com


Posted on 05/08/2008, in Events-Activities-Announcements, India, Opinions, Sri Lanka, Youth-Culture-Society and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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