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Hope Square, Syrian refugee camp in Jordan 2015. Photo: Artmongers
Hope Square, Syrian refugee camp in Jordan 2015. Photo: Artmongers

Beginning

How News Travel? - Journalism by young people

During March and April 2016 lot of interesting artists, community groups and organisations got in touch with Bilingual Potential about Script. Numerous ideas were discussed. Many languages were talked about. Many art forms were proposed.

From that joyful proliferation one core idea stood out and became the focus of the first Script Festival. It is the idea of travel. People travel. News travel. The world is in a constant state of movement and change.

To make sense of our interconnected world we need bilingual people who are able to understand what is happening in another part of it. We need bicultural people to explain to us the meaning of events that take place in a different culture, in a particular historical context, in different geographical realities.

One of the biggest media stories at the moment is the Syrian refugee crisis. Script 2016 will contribute to the town-twinning project between Telegraph Hill in London and a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. The town-twinning is a project by a Artmongers. The photo above is from an art project completed during their first visit to the refugee camp in 2015. 

Our journalism partner is The Travel News. They are an Italian online magazine that specialises on travel journalism including plenty of stunning photography. 

To make sure we start building the Script network with all the people who got in touch with us about Script 2016 we will organise an event in September where everyone can show each other what they would like to bring into Script.

 

Bilingual teenagers need a reason to write

Reporting on international news relies on bilingual people who are able to understand what is being said, ask questions, find out the answers and then explain it all in a different language.

How would our young people feel, if they got to provide that connection for others? What would it do to their motivation to write in a language they use in their life but don't learn to write in school?

 

Teenagers need a voice on stories that matter 

Young people rarely get a word edgeways in mainstream media. It is filled with adult perspectives. What if we gave them that voice by working with journalists and photographers from the media industry?   

Script creates that opportunity for young people. 

 

Media partner 2016: The Travel News

Publishing young people's texts inspired by professional photos

The Travel News is an Italian online magazine on travel and tourism (thetravelnews.it). Normally they publish work by experienced travel writers and tourism professionals. The vast majority of their articles are in Italian. 

The Travel News has shared with Script an unpublished photo reportage by Italian photographer Giovanni Tagini. Script participants get to work on these photos to produce texts. The Travel News editor in chief Sara Magro will publish a selected text  as the text to go with Giovanni Tagini's photographic service. 

 

Long-distance collaborations

2016: Sharing work between teens in London and in a Syrian refugee camp

In autumn of 2015 I was following the news on the Syrian refugees in dismay and amazement. How could we again fail to see the bigger picture of history unfolding in front of our eyes? It was being said that this was the biggest refugee crisis since the World War II, yet it seemed that we were collectively repeating too many of the same mistakes.

People fleeing war were being talked about as a nuisance. Entire ethnic groups were being labelled as subhuman and an unworthy. Just mass. The talk was about how to control them, not about how to deliver the help they needed. There was the European inability to act together. German generosity. Paris attacks. Tide of racism. No concrete proposal for a better large scale startegy to help the fleeing people while engaging in serious conflict resolution. 

I was thinking, how are our children growing up seeing us adults act like this! We need to re-establish our sense of common humanity. We need to give children a voice to be more than spectators of events and recipients of adult action. Every child needs a sense of belonging to a culture, language and heritage that they can be proud of. Every child need the experience of being appreciated for what they can contribute. 

Script builds long-distance collaboartions between schools in very different parts of the world. We encourage writing in all languages. We see every language of every child as valid for having a positive influence on the world. 

This first year we work to build a particularly fragile bridge. We aim to open a dialogue with teenagers in a refugee camp and teenagers in London. Our partners Artmongers have an ongoing project at the camp and they will try their best to open this communication. 

 

Humanities and writing

Writing journalism, learning about the world 

Script themes are pertinent to humanities, in particular to history and geography. In 2016 we focus on ages 14-19.  The texts will be produced in July during the last weeks of the school year. Sharing and publication of the texts will be in September after a translation process.

At the time of writing (22 April 2016) we are looking or 1-2 humanities teachers to work with us on Script 2016. Schools in SE14 and SE4 London can get in touch with us to find out more.

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