Arts Lab Report: With passion, you can achieve your objective

July, I would say that this month was the month where we finally did what we were supposed to do during the project. After the success of the music video about Târgu Frumos, the organization changed their focus on actual events, workshops and conferences where me as an international volunteer got to interact with all kind of new people.

During the first week I was adding subtitles to the music video while also preparing workshops and other activities for the local volunteer meetings. It was exciting to see new passionate people participate in the organization who were willing to help us out in many different task but mainly in translating. The meeting with the new volunteers went great: the girls were excited to participate in the organization and it was a great introduction in getting to know each other. Each of us ESC participants were assigned with a specific volunteer and I had Bianca, someone who was enthusiastic about movies, TV shows and acting. It’s always great to have someone who loves the work they are doing.

The organization is always hungry for more content so this month I was looking over different projects to do. At first I was interested in doing a small documentary piece about the Bazaar that there is every Thursday in Târgu Frumos but the people around there doesn’t seem to welcome foreigners with cameras. The coordinator contacted me that the principal in Butea was very interested in making a documentary piece about her work in expanding the school from nothing to the ground up. It was a good opportunity to learn about new stories about new people in a place that I haven’t been to.

I went to Butea with Bianca, the local volunteer and the visit was pleasant. It caught my interest seeing such a modern building in a small town. The director, Greta Predoi, showed us around this massive building where it smelled like a new construction building. It was impressive seeing how Mrs Predoi was able to contact with hundreds of companies and being able to convince a handful of them to donate some of their products for their school. One thing I learned about her is that with passion, you can achieve your objective even though it might be hard. The reason behind this was the thing that she was inspired by the amazing facilities that other European schools had and she wanted to offer the same opportunity for the kids in the small town of Butea.

Another achievement was the 20 beautiful thing project where I was able portray what I think is beautiful about this place. For me the beauty of Târgu Frumos lies on the nature, the simple life and the animals. During this month I went around recording different landscapes and spaces. Of which, I loved recording the sunflower field during sunset, the sunny corn field and even some of the local folks doing something simple as walking along with a cat. The video was projected during the teachers conference that was at the end of the month and I believe I got some positive reaction out of it. Through this work I think I learned to appreciate more the beauty of nature.

Talking about a conference, there was a conference for the different teachers in the Iaşi region. The objective of the conference is to show these academics the effects of non-formal education. For this conference I prepared a presentation and a workshop. I prepared for the presentation but the workshop changed a lot because I had only 45 minutes for each workshop and making a video takes time. For what it was I think I did alright in sharing my knowledge about storytelling. One thing for sure is that sometimes things that you had planned doesn’t always go as you want so I always have to be prepared to adapt to different situation.

Finally, there were of course, the workshops for the local participants! After trying out the test workshops with adults, I got to do it with the kids. For the first two workshops only two people came but at least they were really enthusiastic to learn about filmmaking and storytelling. Looking at my co-workers I realized that I should attract the interest of the other participants as filmmaking can sound complex and scary to learn at first. For this reason I focused the subject more on acting and it looked like I caught people’s attention as in my third workshop there were more participants who love to improvise different scenarios.

Been a busy week for sure but it felt productive and I had learned a lot. If you are wondering, yes, all the workshop and conferences were taken appropriate sanitary measures to proceed. Meeting all kind of people was refreshing and finally doing workshops with the kids gave me some satisfaction. I still faced many different challenges like facing disinterest in my workshop or changing completely your plan according to different limitations but still I didn’t give up. I’m still a learning youth worker so here goes for another week!

Written by Hanul Choi

Hanul is European volunteer for 8 months, in Arts Lab 2.0 project,  funded by European Solidarity Corps, with the support of European Union.


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