The power of creative words and images woven into storytelling and advocacy cannot be overestimated. More so, when such creativity is exhibited with vibrancy and imaginativeness that is natural to the youth and being used as a tool for the protection and defense of the environment. HOMEF sees the youths as a vital piece of the fossil-free future, as those who will propel a transition to the future we want through an exertion of their creative energy. Poetry and Video documentary as tools for Activism was organized to strengthen the youth and to shape their thought pattern, and expose the struggles through the lens of our camera and the spoken words of our heart for the protection of the environment.
Poetry and video documentary as a tool for Advocacy was facilitated by Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) in collaboration with the Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation and SMAU Media from Norway with the aim of building a community of young and vibrant change makers through learning, conversations and creating solidarity for the protection of the environment. The idea is to spur youths who are ready to fight for the good of the environment using empirical knowledge that influences and inspire action to protect the environment and to trigger the involvement and interest of people who will use their cameras and creativity in words in environmental advocacy. The project aims to fight for the sustainability of the environment and encouraging more poets to engage in environmental advocacy.
The meeting trained youths drawn from Edo and Rivers States to be able to harness their creativity through poetry and videography for the protection of the environment. The training witnessed participants producing videos and poems mirroring their experiences.
Participants also learned how to use photographs to tell stories that would inspire action. “When taking a photograph or making a video, you must consider the position of the object you aim to capture, check for lighting and look out for the ambience if it’s a video. Do not just capture an object because it must be captured. First of all have in mind what the picture or video aims to achieve or the story behind each capture. Also have in mind your audience, this helps to program the quality of work you intend to give out”
The act of combining video and poetry in putting out information is a skill that can yield great impacts if properly harnessed. The beauty is that the story teller takes charge of the tone of the message, the pattern and the rhythm while nudging the audience to interpret the message and act appropriately.
The workshops took place in three locations. The first was at the Ikike Gardens at HOMEF’s international head office in Benin City. The second event took place at the Ken Saro-Wiwa Memorial Park at Bane, Ogoni. The final workshops were held at the Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation’s Innovation Hub in Port Harcourt. The venues themselves provided backdrops that inspired creativity while the larger-than-life image of the late Ken Saro-Wiwa provided the needed impetus to go beyond art for art’s sake and take on art as a weapon for sociology-ecological change.