Dar Si Hmad for Development, Education and Culture is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 2010 promoting local culture and sustainable initiatives through education and the integration of scientific ingenuity in Southwest Morocco. We operate North Africa's largest fog harvesting project, providing villages with access to potable water. Our Water School and Girls' E-Learning Programs build capacity in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Through our Ethnographic Field School, researchers and students engage with local communities in Agadir, Sidi Ifni, and the rural Aït Baamrane region for meaningful cross-cultural exchange.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

RISE Citizen Journalism 2019: Session 6, 7 and 8 Run Down

Written by Ms. Hafida Mazoud
Group picture with Peace Corps Volunteer Ms. Cassandra
We cannot believe how quickly time flies! It is already Week 8, and we have one more extra session. The upcoming meeting with our all of our RISERs will be at the Closing Ceremony. Before jumping on how this session went, let us first give you a brief recap.
The fifth session that was conducted back on May 19th was about photojournalism. We invited a Peace Corps Volunteer, Ms. Cassandra Broadwing, to facilitate this session. The objective of this session was to enable the RISERs to identify the components of a compelling image to articulate the ethics of photojournalism and to pitch their own ideas for a photo essay to promote social change and social justice in Agadir.  
Ms. Cassandra started the session by projecting the photo of an Afghan girl taken by Steve McCurry. She asked our participants if they recognized the picture first and what they could describe by taking a closer look. After she then told them about her story and projected a short video documenting the rest of the story about this girl and how 17 years later the National Geographic team found the girl and took the second picture of her.
The Egg Activity
Between the two pictures, that girl had faced and experienced many things, and her unrequested fame didn’t help her but instead made her life even harder. This led our facilitator to start a discussion about whether what the photographer leaves out of the image is just as important as what he or she captures. She also addressed the strengths of using photography to tell stories as well as its weaknesses.
This session was an opportunity for the participants to learn about the elements of photography, what makes a photo compelling and how a photo can make you feel something. Ms. Cassandra asked one of the participants to help her do an activity where the participants shined a light on an egg with a drawn face in order to use light to portray an evil face, a sad face, or a happy, angelic face just by changing the light angles.
Photojournalism is photography, but the reverse is not necessarily true. To illustrate the differences between these two concepts, they talked about photojournalism and ethics, empathy, media bias, and how it is a journalist's duty to remain emotionally aware and empathetic.
Before closing this session, we gave a handout to our participants that helped them brainstorm the idea they want to tackle in their photo essay assignment and explained the tools and the data they need in order to research the idea.
RISERs taking shots of their partners
Video Journalism was the theme of the following session. The session was led by Ms. Katie Tyler and our intern Ms. Imane Arjdal who helped our RISERs define what is videojournalism and its different forms. Later, they were introduced to the different phases of videojournalism from pre-production, production, and post-production.
Practicing videojournalism as an amateur or a professional was also brought up during the discussion. This led to explaining what digital and visual storytelling is, its ABCs and how you can exercise these principles through video production. We also covered how video editing can help to refine the final product to achieve a smooth, unbroken flow of the narrative.
In regard to the narrative, we talked about narration and the use of a strong narrative voice. As an example, we played a video of Morgan Freeman and studied how the use of his voice gives a different perspective for the story.
We are not contradicting with what we said above, but we always love to challenge our RISERs’ creativity, and we asked them to produce a video with a journalistic approach about any topic they want without spoken words. They could use subtitles, infographics or background music to help deliver their story. 
Game time during the session
Now we arrived to the eighth week which was the last taught session of the RISE Citizen Journalism Program 2019. This session was about environmental journalism, and its goal was to show that the environment is not a faraway issue that only affect glaciers, but it contains crises that touch us every day, and this is why having a journalistic coverage is a must!
We then distributed two different printed articles and asked the participants to compare the different writing styles, such as whether the style was descriptive, narrative, or both. One of the articles we chose for them was about how climate change is creating a rise of child brides. They were blown away by the connection and realized that if they analyze many environmental issues, they would find a direct consequence of that issue in their lives or the lives of others around them. We concluded this session by watching a video that discusses the differences between facts and opinion as well as and what is truth.
The participants requested many times to conduct a session where they can learn about how to study abroad and find scholarships. Our RISE team could not be happier to answer their request and provide them with the opportunity to discuss and learn more about this topic for one more extra informative session organized during the first week of Ramadan. 
Group photo with Ms. Tasnim

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