Change moves the world. The desire for a better world has caused many a social, economic and political revolutions while the desire for more comfort and convenience in life has led to many a technological innovation.
Change happens when we know what we want to change, why we want to change and how we want to bring about the change that we desire. Then how is it that deep rooted patriarchal values continue to dominate our thinking? Why is the change so slow? Why is that we rarely question our own mindsets that perpetrate such inexcusable inequalities, discrimination and violence like pre-birth sex selection, gender based violence and denial of basic rights to a large number of women? How often have we paused to wonder why India, in spite of its aspirations to become an economic super power, lags behind in gender and human development indices? How committed are we really, to build a better world?
These are the questions that ‘Laadli’-Population First’s Girl Child initiative raises. Laadli works, specifically, with the Media and the Youth to bring about a mindset change to build a more gender sensitive and gender just society.
We believe that if we raise the social consciousness of the youth, they would be the change makers who would be instrumental in redefining the gender equations in their lives, work places and on the streets making this world much safer for girls and women. We launched the Change Makers Clubs in the colleges of Mumbai in 2011 with the explicit purpose of raising the social consciousness and building the commitment of youth to social issues. Change Makers Clubs promote critical thinking and provide a non- judgmental space for students to engage with gender issues through various innovative and creative activities, which are conceived and executed by them.
Question Everything is the first initiative under Change Makers Clubs, where students are encouraged to reflect on their own gender perceptions and values to raise pertinent questions about gender inequality and violence. The challenge then is to present the question through the creative medium of film making and convey the message effectively in a one minute movie (1MM).
The IMM (One Minute Movie) project on the theme Question Everything was launched in August and was executed in two phases.
Phase One involved consciousness-raising through a two-day workshop where the students had an opportunity to explore the concept of gender and creative communication through interaction with leaders from the field. By the end of the second day, the twelve teams from 11 colleges had identified the themes they wanted to work on as well as the format they wanted to use. Pixilation, short film, street play, chroma, puppetry, and stop motion were some of the options given. They were also ready with a rough creative concept.
The second phase focused on the actual film making process, where the creative idea was fine tuned and the films were shot with the help of Preeti Gopalakrishnan, Yogi Chopra and their team mates Medha Dalal, Mahesh Shetty, Sanjay Ramachandran and MadhusudhanTayade from Can Communicate. Anshuman Alamuru, Ravi Tuteja, Janvi Shah and Nusheen from Seam Edu Media Institute from Pune provided the required technical support. Nita Shirali coordinated with the colleges for participation.
The post production job was done entirely by the Can Communicate team. Seven films were produced on the issue of violence against women.
It is very exciting to celebrate the 1st International Day of the Girl Child by launching the movies and the concept of 1MM for social change. More information about the project is available on www.1mm.com.in. The films will be placed on the web after their launch on 11th October. We are confident that they will make viewers think about gender violence and encourage more and more of them to come up with their own questions on the issue.
We have succeeded in getting 1MM mind space through this project, and hope this is the beginning of a bigger transformation.
|A Laadli Changemakers Club Initiative
Supported by UNFPA