“Beyond All Borders”: Last Phase of the “Breaking Rays” Project
2 – 9 July 2018, Manila
“Breaking Rays”, Third Phase
The third phase of the Breaking Rays Project (composed of 3 phases respectively in Italy, Brazil and the Philippines) ended on 9 July, 2018, in Manila on the occasion of the Genfest event – the international meeting by the New Humanity Youth Section (Youth for a United World), entitled “Beyond all Borders”.
Marco Aleotti, Kim Rowley and Paola Cipollone – the initiative coordinators – provided us with a full report of the event while trying to follow the rules of good journalism, according to the 5 “W”s: Who, What, Where, When, Why.
Genfest 2018. The third phase of the project was strategically planned to take place at the Genfest event: an international youth meeting entitled Beyond all borders.
What a better occasion for an international group of media operators than to work for an event with 6,000 young people from all over the world, from many cultures and religions?
The Genfest provided fertile ground to experience first-hand what it means to overcome stereotypes, to tell real stories that are more convincing than any theories.
The task was to tell why those young people were there, share how they were trying to go “beyond” their differences and expand on the reason behind an experience shared on stage, or a song or a dance, a workshop, or a social project.
The task was also to tell stories that give visibility to important choices that can have an impact in a given territory, stories that tell about small daily gestures of forgiveness, proximity to the poor, attention to the environment.
Work Experience in the Field. This phase of the project was clearly different from the previous ones. In fact, the Breaking Rays program in Italy and Brazil consisted mainly in training workshops, while this time it was pure work experience in the field.
The work carried out was primarily the documentation and dissemination of audio-visual content on the Genfest event. Breaking Rays, however, offered participants a new perspective: not so much to document an event but to tell stories, the stories of the young people present, of the promoters of the event, of the actors on stage, of the young people that attended from all over the world.
The purpose? Offer content in which youth can identify themselves and feel challenged by the Beyond All Borders motto.
The program was articulated in a few parts:
– Introduction and getting to know one another (teambuilding with 50 young people from 12 different countries)
– Finalize the communications plan of the Genfest and Youth for a united World event and share it with the whole group
– Breaking up into working groups for video production, photographers, the IT department for recording and cataloguing the main video feed of the event, streaming and publication on YouTube of the entire 3 day event program divided into 56 thematic clips.
– Management of social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) of the Genfest and Youth for a united world event.
– Production of over 30 short videos for YouTube Genfest and Youth for a United World channels
– complete photo documentation published in 8 thematic albums on Flickr on the Genfest website and made available to the press team.
– Creation of a 47-minute video program with documentation and interviews on the Genfest, behind the scenes and parts of the program – and 4 reports on social projects and cultural initiatives in the Philippines :
The 50 participants in the Breaking Rays project came from 12 countries (Philippines, Indonesia, India, Burundi, Kenya, Italy, Ireland, Malta, Hungary, Germany, and Brazil).
They worked together with a large group of about 50 Filipinos youth involved in the media field in various ways. All together they formed the International Communications Team – ICT of the Genfest 2018 “Beyond all borders”.
About half of the 50 participants had participated in the previous sessions of Breaking Rays and were like yeast that positively mixed with the rest of the group offering motivation, teamwork skills, problem-solving and storytelling skills.
In the ten-year long activity of New Humanity as a promoter / organizer of events, it was probably one of the first times when the communication of an event – in this case the Genfest – was managed by a group that was so diverse in age, geographic origin and skills.
The Project participants included filmmakers, photographers, journalists, social media managers and IT experts. Those already established professionally were generous with their knowledge and were constantly available to share, offering support and guidance through the various stages of production. As in the other stages of Breaking Rays, we experienced how working side by side – adults and young people – was beneficial to both groups.
The adults discovered new creativity and communication techniques and the young people matured career choices and learned about the responsibility that comes with communications, including dealing with ethical questions, fostering respect for different cultures and religious affiliations.
The Project took place from 2 to 9 July 2018 and was structured in three phases. The first, from 2 to 5 July, was dedicated to content creation to promote and get to know 1) the Philippines as the host country, 2) Youth for a united world who were promoting the event, 3) stories related to the issues that would be addressed at the Genfest, 4) the ‘behind the scenes’ of the Genfest. The second phase, from 6 to 8 July, was dedicated to documenting the event itself along with the immediate dissemination of the contents produced. The third phase, on Day 9, was dedicated to finishing up various tasks and sharing impressions.
In Manila, the ICTeam set up base camp in a conference room at the hotel where the participants were housed, and then transferred to a room in the World Trade Center where the Genfest took place.
Once again the true novelty of Breaking Rays was the attention to relationships. The job of a communicator risks becoming more and more individualistic, dependent on the logic of power and consumption.
Breaking Rays, instead, promoted strong and mature group work in interviewing, choosing images, music, graphics. Every choice was the result of an open exchange in great respect for the creativity of each person and openness to the other person’s contribution. This created a work environment that was inclusive, attentive to minorities, while also catering to the needs of end-users rather than imposing a message.
So, all-round relationships: within the group, with colleagues from other sectors, with the people interviewed, with the social media users, with the surrounding environment…. This also made it possible to overcome the inevitable logistical difficulties, unexpected issues, tensions due to the workload and pressure to plan, shoot, edit and deliver in a very short amount of time.
During the sharing and debriefing session on the last day, everyone expressed the desire to continue the project. They urged us to continue this kind of work together, since this experience of life within their profession that was so fruitful.
Breaking Rays Video-summary: Phase 3