During the Global MIL (Media and Information Literacy) Week held by UNESCO, this year in Kaunas (Lithuania) and Riga (Latvia) I met young people with very interesting projects. Among them, the Dutch Hemmo Bruinenberg and his initiative, The Video Bakery, which received the second prize in GAPMIL, Global MIL Awards 2018.
I spoke with him to share his story. Last year he was at the Global MIL conference for the first time, where he heard about the GAPMIL Global MIL awards. "It is an excellent way to recognize projects in the field of media and information literacy.When winning the prize, the project is recognized and has international diffusion.If it is not for this recognition, probably nobody would have heard of the Film Festival of Ithaka. "
"It's great to be in the event, there are so many interesting people working in the field of MIL, who share the same ideals, everyone here wants to make the world a better place and they think that MIL (Media Literacy and Information Literacy) is a part Important for that, in the world we live in. I have listened to very inspiring speeches, I have learned a lot and I have met excellent people with whom I would like to work in the future. "
Hemmo Bruinenberg (1989) lives in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Hemmo studied Theatre, Film and Television Science (BA) and Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (MA). Today, Hemmo runs and develops different media and community art projects with his company The Video Bakery, such as the Ithaka Film Festival (a film education program for young newcomers / migrants). He is also a researcher at the Media and Culture department of Utrecht University, where he is part of the research group ‘Media literacy through Making Media’.
The Video Bakery began after the master's degree ended. "I was asked to make films and give film workshops, which gave me the opportunity to start a business, making films with newcomers and migrants in the Netherlands is something I was doing from the beginning. The Video Bakery: I think that cinema is a 21st century trade, just as baking is a trade. "
I was already making films during my bachelor with friends. At first it was more a hobby, but it got more and more serious. I used to work in the media industry, working on film sets, community art projects and media events.
In 2012 however I chose to follow another interest of mine: anthropology. I did a master in visual anthropology, which was a perfect combination for me: I could use film in research and study media use. For my master thesis I got into the school for young migrants. This school is until now my partner in the Ithaka Film Festival.
The Ithaka Film Festival is a visual literacy project where young newcomers in Netherlands make their own films and present it on the big screen. I set it up together with a school, Ithaka. We were looking for new and innovative ways to develop the participation and integration of young migrants in Netherlands.
During our pilot we found out that working with film, besides teaching visual literacy, has a lot of positive side effects: the students are developing their Dutch in a playful way, and work on communication and planning skills (among others). The youth are making the films themselves from scratch, from idea to editing. They are full owner of the stories they want to tell. This is how it started and from there it developed into a professional project. This year we are teaching around 30 classes around the Netherlands.
The youth are making the films themselves from scratch, from idea to editing. They are full owner of the stories they want to tell. This is how it started and from there it developed into a professional project. This year we are teaching around 30 classes around the Netherlands.
The project was co-created from the beginning along with the school and the young migrants. This makes it very important and also makes it integrated into the school's curriculum in a sustainable way. The project is made to measure. "
What can you tell other young people to motivate them to create their own projects?
It sounds very cliche, but I am still going to say it: believe in yourself and the work that you do. Only do work or projects that you strongly believe in yourself, that is the basis to convince others. If you have a good idea, find the right partners, go to events and work hard. In the beginning I didn't earn any money with the project, but I kept believing and developing it. Now it has become my work. I guess it is great when you can do work that you love so much as I do with this project.