July was a busy month for EngageMedia in Myanmar as there were two technology camps that I had to attend as a speaker and trainer. These were the Pyay Barcamp and Tech Camp 2016 in Mandalay.
The first event, which I was also invited to help organize, was the Barcamp in Pyay City, located in the Bago Region. Like many other areas in Myanmar, Pyay faces issues of land grabbing, and so I chose some related content for the camp. On opening day, July 16, I promoted dialogue on ‘Human Rights Through Documentary’.
As the target audience during my talk were teenagers and high school students, I focused on child and land rights issues by screening the films, ‘Pangarap sa Buhay‘ from the Philippines and ‘Masters of our Land’ from West Papua.
The discussion that followed was very active because the students were knowledgeable on human rights, and spoke up bravely on the subject. We concluded the session by asking positive questions such as, “How can we cure our society by sharing knowledge?”.
Next, I headed to the Tech for Transparency event at Latpanhla village, Sintguu Township, Mandalay Division. The two-day workshop which started on July 18 was organized by Phanteeyar, USAID and Colors Rainbow.
Colors Rainbow invited both youth and seniors from across Mandalay and Latpanhla to participate in the camp, where I spoke to both groups about the impact of the civil rights movement in their lives and taking action to help their communities with digital storytelling tools.
Using the mobile editing tools I shared, each participant was supported in creating a story, written and recorded on his or her mobile phone. Each story was made accessible online by posting them on their community Facebook page.
With the skills gained during the workshop, the participants from various organizations are now able to share their stories as part of their efforts to seek justice, whether it be in LGBT or civil liberty issues. The camp also provided other valuable tools to civil society and the private sector to enhance the technical assistance they are receiving through ongoing USAID programs.
EngageMedia looks forward to the next event where it can contribute to positive social change in Myanmar through video and technology.