A Media Group for Suai 2006

January 17th, 2011 jen Posted in A Media Group for Suai Comments Off on A Media Group for Suai 2006

In 2006 the Friends of Suai received a request from Ergilio Vicente to provide video equipment to his organisation the Suai Covalima Youth Centre. The Friends of Suai agreed to provide $15,000 in funds towards setting up a youth video training group in Suai for the purpose of developing educational video production skills in the district.

Jen Hughes a local filmmaker had been working with the Friends of Suai since 2001 towards this and had consulted with Ergilio about it in 2000. It wasn’t until Ergilio attended a video production workshop with Oxfam that he realised the potential for video to help him with communication in the district as well as develop much needed skills and work for  youth in Suai. Jen put together the equipment parcel and travelled with the Co-ordinator of Friends of Suai, Pat Jessen to Suai in February 2006 and gave the first workshop to the 9 young people in the photograph above. Ergilio was the only person experienced with computers and one  or two of whom had never held a video camera, sat at a computer or touched a mouse.

It was in collaboration with Ergilio that this website Suai Media Space was set up in late 2008. There is more about Suai youth here and  a section dedicated to the activities of the Suai video training group named YoMaTre on this website and you can read more about it hereSome of the videos, stories and photography produced in the first workshop in 2006 and subsequent workshops are also in the Youth Media section of the site here.

In 2008 the group won a prize for their educational video about AIDS at a film festival in Dili. Unfortunately the film is too long to upload to the website.

The setting up of the media group and this website led to Emanuel Braz, (then of  the International Centre for Journalism), becoming aware of the start up media group. Emanuel decided then to make Suai one of the towns for further media development through the setting up of an Uma Media or Media House and journalism training funded by USAID. By the end of 2009 the satellite dish had been installed at the Suai Youth Centre with links to the Friends of Suai Community Centre. This meant then that Port Phillip had a broadband connection with Suai that revolutionised our communication. The new journalists are now uploading stories to timortoday.com. Read more about the Media House initiative here.

Previous to this Portuguese Telecom had an office in Suai, which was busy, expensive and unreliable. A house of viruses.

In late 2009 free social network software became available and Jen started up the suaimediaspace.ning.com social network to assist the people of Port Phillip communicate with people in Suai. The reality is that the social network is being used by people in Suai to keep in touch with each other – within East Timor and elsewhere in the diaspora. Many people are living and studying overseas. They are also using it to display their culture and do all the things everybody does on social networks – upload photographs, videos and music. As at January 2011 there are 172 members ( & growing) and conversations take place in Indonesian, English and Tetun.

In 2009 the Friends of Suai funded a photography workshop with Melbourne photographer Richard Jones in Suai, that resulted in two exhibitions of photographs. One for a conference in Dili and for the Connections Across the Timor Sea Exhibition in the St Kilda Town Hall in May 2010 as part of the 10 year Anniversary Celebrations. You can see some of the work here in the Suai Youth Section of Suai Media Space.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button