I have been part of Erasmus for two years and have travelled to many places meeting a lot of new people and making a lot of new friends. Erasmus has taken us to Nantes in France to the La Perverie were we spent four days filming interviews and editing them exploring the issue of migration through film.
However, Erasmus is not just filming it is a chance to meet new friends and a chance to appreciate other cultures as well as offering us cross-community opportunites. Erasmus’ aim is to try and give people an insight into the difficulties that migrants face and to try and help give people an understanding of how difficult it can be for them.
We did a lot of training in preperation for our films. We started our training in Armagh, October 2015. This was the first session where we met all the other schools involved such as: La Perverie in France, Saint Catherine’s College in Northern Ireland, Santa Magdalena Sofia in Spain and Mount Anville in Ireland. Royal School, Armagh also worked with us through our consortium classes. Here we had to mix together and work as a team whilst learning the backgrounds to the current migrant refugee crisis and learning how to use new technology such as sound boxes, cameras, tripods ect.
It was difficult at the start as we had three different languages to work with and many different accents to overcome but eventually we broke through and started working really well together. Our next training session was in Spain: Zaragoza. This was where we did our first interviews.
We were split into groups according to our schools. I was in the Armagh group. We were lucky enough to interview a young Muslim man from North Africa called Sabut. He told us about his new life in Spain and how he had to leave his family and friends behind in Africa. He also told us about the racism he has encountered and the difficulties he has had to overcome. After the interview, we went back to Santa Magdalena Sofia and started editing our films. Our third training session was back in Dublin were we tried a new interviewing technique called the vox bpp. This is where we stopped random people in the street and asked them their opinions on the migrant crisis. Then we practised interviews on each other again allowing us to get to know each other.
Our fourth trainning session is in Nantes in France where we were working in the Perverie alongside the French and Spanish. We have been working on interviews that we filmed in our home countries to try and give us more time to edit and learn more about the migrant crisis. Our fifth and final trainning will be back in Armagh in May 2017 where we will add the last finishing touches to our work before showing them on the big screen for our movie festival.
The migrant crisis is something very serious and very real. I find that the work we are doing on it will help and remind people that just because the media has stopped showing it on tv doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening.
The Erasmus Plus Project has honestly been one of the best experiences in my life and I am happy to say that I have made friends for life and gained excellent skills and knowledge that will be useful in my future.