New School student, Aya Jaffar's film for course, Poetics of Witnessing.
Film by Ines Gerber and Marie Bakke
In 1935 a film entitled Housing Problems depicted the slums in London. It’s considered the first documentary with direct testimonies from working class tenants about their living conditions. They talked about small rooms (too small to swing a cat), crumbling walls, rotting staircases, sagging roofs, no running water, insanitary toilet facilities, no cooking facilities, bedbugs and rats… In 2014, we traveled to Hong Kong to remake this film, and what we found were people living in cage homes, small cubical spaces and rooftop squats. It’s an update on these perennial housing themes and to echo one of the opening lines from the original film: “Now let us hear from some of the people who have to live in the slums.”
The Disappearing Elephants Project
Approximately 100 elephants are killed every day for their ivory
Today there are between 470,000 and 690,000 African elephants left. Current poaching kills 25,000-35,000 elephants a year for their ivory. At this rate, African elephants will be extinct within decades.
Asian elephants are highly endangered, with only about 30,000 left, and approximately 30% of them are in captivity.
The project started out as a two-month collaboration between the WWF-Hong Kong and The New School University (New York City) during the 2014 International Field Program in Hong Kong. Brianna Rowe and her team have continued to work on the project in New York City. Their goal is to tell the story of today’s threats to African and Asian elephants. Their website has resources for students, educators and anyone interested in understanding the threats elephants face today. They invite educators to use our downloadable lesson plans and the various media to inform their classrooms about this global issue. Students will find information about the threats to elephants and can learn about the different organizations and activities that are being done to make lasting changes.
To learn more, visit the educational media portal at disappearingelephants.com
In collaboration with Luta pela Paz, New School graduate students worked with youth ages 11-14 to create a video letter about their lives and their community. New School students led workshops twice a week in Complexo da Maré, a large favela community in the northern zone of Rio de Janeiro. Over the course of two months, youth participants learned basic photography, video, and audio skills.
In June and July 2015 six students from the New School supported the creation of the web documentary “Ilha Grande: Each beach an island. Each island a story”. The web doc tells the stories of an incredible island in the state of Rio de Janeiro, with the goal of encouraging community-based tourism that shows consideration for the social and environmental impacts of tourism. The web doc also offers suggestions for accommodation, restaurants and transport that align with this mission.
In June and July of 2015, a team of 20 students from The New School and PUC (Pontificia Universidade Catolica) participated in a human rights media field program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil under the direction of professor Peter Lucas. This experience was part of the IFP (International Field Program) run by the Graduate Program of International Affairs (GPIA) at the New School in New York. Throughout the two months, small production teams worked on several media projects at the same time. The goals of the program are to give students production experiences that are challenging and real, based in critical human rights issues, and transformative - both for the students themselves, and for our partner NGOs. Projects this past summer included The Rules, Housing Problems, Ilha Grande Web Documentary, Midia Pela Paz and TV Morrinho. All of these projects are still in post production.
Fifteen New School students traveled to Rio de Janiero this past summer as part of the International Field Program to work on field based media projects based on human rights. One of these projects, The Rules, involved students taking to the streets of Rio and asking one simple question to the locals. If you could break the rules, what would you do? To learn more about this project visit asregras.com.
Students across divisions of The New School joined us in our mixer event on Friday February 20th. We made public our programs and future workshops, so that anyone interested could join.
For more information on how to form part of the Engage Media Lab, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or attend our weekly meetings on Thursday 11:30 am at the School of Media Studies (79 Fifth Av., 16th floor).
We look forward to meet you!
*Photos by Livia Santos and Alejandro Jaramillo
Last October, we spent a day with different youth groups and organizations at the Youth Urbanism Summit, an event organized by the University of Orange. Together, we try to imagine our ideal world. Here is the result of that incredible discussion.