As part of GAC's ongoing Children's Radio Project, and the documentary recording the process, there have been two articles in the regional French newspaper Paris-Normandie, on Saturday May 21st and Tuesday May 24th, respectively.
Young People Invited to Express Themselves in a Documentary
A documentary is being filmed today in Le Havre for Global Arts Corps. This organization based in both Paris and New York is collecting children’s and adolescent’s artistic testimonies around the world and chose Le Havre for the next phase in the project.
The Covid-19 crisis, news, aspirations… What is going on in young people’s heads all over the world? That is the question that Global Arts Corps will attempt to answer throughout their documentary. For now, the group follows where the wind takes them, through the testimonies of international youth.
After having already filmed young teens and children of Native American tribes du Wyoming, they will be working at La Causerie theatre to hear out what the children form the Havre have to say. The goal is to create a connection between art and information and to stimulate children’s creativity by letting them express themselves in the creative form of their choosing: slam, rap, songs, theatre, poetry, mime, and so on… Any form of creativity is welcome to enable them to speak freely in the form they wish.
Art as a Way to Come Together
The organization had already been part of a documentary titled The Journey Back to Now for which they traveled to Rwanda and Cambodia to work with locals. They created a production with a troupe of 19 young circus artists from the production See You Yesterday where the goal was to go back in time through the generations on other side of the genocide. The main audience they were seeking were the descendants of the survivors forever impacted by the Tutsis genocide and the Cambodian Khmer Rouge dictatorship.
The acrobats performed in front of 18,000 Congolese refugees at the Rwandan border, and opportunity to have “genocide meets genocide”, according to Global Arts Corps. There, they focused on youth and their trauma.
For the current project children from 6 to 17 years old will explain the way in which they experienced the pandemic, their vision for the future, their aspirations, their perspectives on art through the prism of an entire life ahead of them. When the documentary is released, it will link together children that may be cultural opposites but that share the same love of art, the same innocence, and a story to tell.
A Documentary to Create a Dialogue between Children Filmed at La Causerie
“Speech is a strong symbol”, explained Bob Berky this past Saturday, to children gathered at the Causerie social theater in Le Havre for the filming of a documentary project. Three Americans working for the organization Global Arts Corps are interviewing children from all over the world. Bob Berky, Grant Rosenberg, and Michael Lessac are traveling the world to find stories told by children.
“The children are saying what they are thinking.”
“Our desire is to let the children of the world talk. In Le Havre, we are gathering testimonies of children and teenagers, from 6 to 17, these testimonies will complete other testimonies coming from Native American children on Indian American reservations, and testimonies from children in Bangladesh, South Africa, and Europe—all of this with the goal being to create a correspondence by video.”
The session begins with a theater exercise: seated attentively, the children prepare to share their stories and views on current news topics: Covid-19, the environment, the ware in Ukraine, discrimination, or simply anything any topic they want to discuss. “Above all we let the children speak freely. At the beginning of the exercise adults were present, but the children were scared to express themselves, and self-conscious of the image they are portraying of themselves. With children it is different, they say what they really think.”
Fleur, 13-years-old, starts speaking: “My parents are ecologists; it is a subject that worries me a lot. In Le Havre we are already speaking of the rising waters.”
Pierre-Lucas, 10 years-old, with a citizen of Le Havre discusses his childhood during the war: “We also create a link between people that do not normally exchange with each other, for example children with the elderly, on subjects regarding wars and political conflicts.”
The three Americans will be coming back to Le Havre in order to gather more testimonies of children and teenagers.
[Translations by Astrid Ouazana]