Here to Support and Refocus Media Labs organised workshops in Amsterdam

Written by Here to Support

The first weekend of October, Refocus Media Labs came to Amsterdam to organise workshops together with Here to Support. We had an amazing weekend with photo, video and storytelling workshops at the Here to Support office given by Doug, Nanzanin and Yaser! 

Refocus Media Labs is a refugee initiative of people that share their stories through images and videos. The initiative started in the refugee camps on Lesbos. Refocus Media Labs wants to establish a media lab in Amsterdam also in the future; this weekend was a good kick-off to a collaboration on media initiatives! 

On Friday afternoon, a large group of more than 30 people filled the office. Packed together, the group joined the first workshop on photo taking. We immediately started off with some practice within the office. Nazanin and Yaser then discussed compositions in pictures, and sent the group outside to practise with symmetry, patterns, frame in frames and angles. The results showed the creativity of the group in photographing the surroundings of the office! At night, we moved inside to practise with studio lights. Some people turned out to be naturals in modelling, others took charge as directors; making beautiful compositions with lights and cameras.  

On the second day of workshops, the focus was on video-making. The group learned how to work with shots and angles, and how to create a storyline suitable for a social media post. Jottem, a recently graduated student whose film was shown at the Nederlands Film Festival explained how he structures storylines and writes a script. The group went to shoot videos and images at a demonstration for Iran, in the library and at the office. 

Finally on Sunday, people had the opportunity to practice more with everything they learned over the weekend. The studio lights were used to shoot many modelling pictures. Afterwards, we turned the office into an exhibition space. We printed and displayed the pictures that people made throughout the office. The music was turned on and people started dancing in the office.