I want to change the world and I want to tell people about my country. Grimme Institut and Deautche Welle made it happen.
I have always looked to stortyelling as a way to heal hidden wounds, inspire and inform. Whether it is being a citizen journalist, or my life-long passion for photography, communication has been a central theme in my life. I communicate to tell human stories, whether it is conceptualizing a photostory on social justice issues for a media agency or digging up a story on the impact of the US drone war for human rights organiztions. With a few other friends, I co-founded a media collective,SuppotYemen, where I co-produce short advocacy films. My work has allowed me to share stories from my country in a way that helps my own people move forward.
But this time, I was challenged with doing something different, a transmedia story that asks a vital yet simple question, Do You know the story of the Coffee bean?
Eight of us from various parts of the world sat in a room day after day, working on our stories, there was no time for daydreaming only action. It didn’t take long before we recorded our stories and were well on our way with producing our story and writing up about our experience.
I wanted to create a short film, not simply on something that the media has either talked about or often likes to depicit Yemen as or with, but a story that gives history and depth to my country and creates a feeling of connection. With the hopes that when you see it on the screen you are watching something that brings you directly to Yemen, in visual terms, while also learning a thing or two about something many people in the world obssess over.
I like this kind of visual storytelling because it allowed me to create a story that works across various mediums. It forces you to explore ways in which you can not only think about the visual aspect of things but about the story itself. During the four day training with Grimme Insitute and Deutche Welle I was able to learn the art and craft of transmedia storytelling by focusing on two things, the story and the image.
Though i am used to building storylines, I was challenged with writing my script, since I am used to writing in the style of an outline or an article. But it is the process of creating a trandmedia story, that my belief in the power of both still and moving image was reinvigorated. This workshop, with the mentorship of , Annette Schneider, Guido Kowalski and Maria, from Grimme Institut made me remember the power of transmedia storytelling.