Monday, May 25, 2009

StrangerFestival 2009 is looking for video artists and professionals to conduct video workshops!

StrangerFestival is an international festival for young videomakers & fans and is an initiative of the European Cultural Foundation. In collaboration with our partners we will organize video workshops in more than 15 countries for young people in summer 2009. Do you wanna come and help us out?

For the StrangerAcademy we are looking for video artists and professionals who can come up with a concept and conduct one of the 3-day video workshops or want to be a professional in the LAB assisting the advanced participants in realising their assignment.

An important part of StrangerFestival is the website,, which is a living archive of videos sent in to our competition.

From 14-17 October 2009 StrangerFestival will take place in Amsterdam in Studio K, consisting of the 3-day StrangerAcademy for creative young video makers (14-16 October), the StrangerExpert meeting for professionals in the field of media and youth (16 October) and the StrangerAward Ceremony and closing party (17 October). Young video makers and professionals from all over Europe and beyond will get together during these days and participate in the workshops and expert meetings offered during the event.

StrangerAcademy will be a place where more than a hundred and fifty young video makers between 15-25 years old from all over Europe can develop their video making skills.

The StrangerAcademy will be divided into two levels: beginners and advanced.
For beginners we will offer several 3-day workshops where the planning is set from beginning to end so the participants have a fixed schedule where they are guided step by step making sure they create new work, learn the basics of video making and get the opportunity to work closely with each other.

For the advanced participants the approach will be different. We will create a LAB, a creative space, where technical equipment, professionals in editing, filming, sound, concept building etc. are present to assist the participants in making their video. Certain renowned organisations will give these participants the assignment to make a video for the company which the participants need to finish within the three days.

If you are interested in conducting a workshop keep this in mind when writing your application:
• The budget for this year’s StrangerFestival is very limited.
• ECF will take care of all technical equipment and workshop space
• 3 facilitators per workshop, ECF is in a favour of workshops with a peer to peer education element
• The workshop should be easy to follow for people who do not speak English very well

• The workshop can be on any video genre (documentary, animation etc)
• Workshop focus should be on skills development and collaboration between participants
• Topics should relate to StrangerFestival competition categories: about me, creative/arts, change the world.

• Results should be: new content (videos between 1-5 minutes) per participant or per team

If you are interested in being one of the professionals in the LAB this is the sort of profile we are looking for:
• (Artistic) video education background

• Good working knowledge of cameras and editing programmes

• Good knowledge of English
• Good communication skills
• Ability to work under pressure

• Flexible and willing to improvise

• Capacity and commitment to work with youngsters on an equal basis

• Sensibility to respect various cultures and group processes

If you are a workshop organiser yourself or if you know people who might be interested in this call, please forward the message. If you wish to join in, you can ask for the application form from Giusy Chierchia at gchierchia (at)

Monday, May 18, 2009

It´s Live!

Finally, after months of work, my company´s website is live. Thanks a lot to Sasha Huber and Kryptoniitti for the brilliant work in putting it together.

The idea for the site was to give a clear idea of my professional experience and what I wish to do in the future. It was a conscious move to make it bilingual as I want to keep on doing work both in and outside Finland and in Finnish as well as English.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

10 Second Johnny

This guy on the video, Johnnydurham19, is coming in a couple of weeks to a video culture symposium at the University of Arts and Design. I will be moderating a session there - with Johnny and others - on why non-professionals make and watch videos. Should be fun. Thursday 28 May at the University of Arts and Design Helsinki.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Demos Helsinki

Finishing my first week at Demos Helsinki as a project manager and researcher. It´s been brilliant. It´s like a dream come true to be part of a team for three days per week. It lets you be really part of a thinking and working community and still leaves leg space for writing and other stuff.

Demos UK, Demos Helsinki´s sister/brother/associate in London, just turned 16 and celebrated this with a new video on their focus on power and with a new website.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Other Iran

Iran: A nation of bloggers from Mr.Aaron on Vimeo.

This video is a skillful and important reminder on how we need to make the difference between a country and its leaders and remember diversity when we talk about a country. Something to keep in mind whether we talk about Russia, the US, Iran or Finland.

It also makes me think of a book I got from Reza Abedini on Iranian contemporary graphic design. Reza´s book shows how there is another layer of graphic reality next to the government-controlled images we see in the news every day. Videos like these are truly empowering. Thanks, Charlie.

Monday, May 04, 2009

That´s Not Me

Le Chauvinist
Originally uploaded by John.P
"I am not on my way home to beat my wife but to take care of my children."

A comment thrown into the air by philosopher Jukka Relander tonight made me think. I was attending a Green Party meeting as part of a journalistic assignment and managed to catch part of the debate led by Relander who chairs the Green Men. With the comment above Relander was referring to the problem-oriented discourse on men and on something very wise said by Amu Urhonen - one of the candidates to chair the Council of the Green Party for the next two years.

Urhonen assessed that many men do not recognise themselves in the descriptions of men in political debate. Some of the roles thrown easily around are the sleazy middle-aged man and the underprivileged, alcoholic construction worker beating his wife. If a man resembles one of the groups only in terms of looks, political language forces them into a claustrophobic corner where they end up having to defend themselves against perceptions of a chauvinist and sexist cave man without any evidence that they personally would be guilty of such disapprovable action. It´s like the old tricky question:"When did you stop beating your wife?"

Most of these categorisations are done unintentionally and thrown around without really careful thinking. Urhonen reminded the Green politicians of their responsibility in choosing their words and stereotypes carefully. She managed to formulate in 60 seconds one of the core problems of the equality debate - both for women and men. I mean how many women have been pushed to choose between Virgin Mary and Maria Magdalena.