Following three days of training in Shatila camp in Beirut, and a day of fieldwork, participants in the ‘The Art of Sharing Life Stories with the Masses’, produced twelve projects, each of which conveyed a unique story either through a series of six photos or a short video.
The Majed Abu Sharar Media Foundation, (MASMF) organized the four-day workshop, in partnership with the Center for Refugee Rights ‘Aidoun’, (CPR), and the support of the Norwegian People’s Aid, (NPA). Mexican American filmmaker and photographer Alejandro Gomez-Meade introduced trainees to the art of documentary storytelling before presenting the elements necessary to create a documentary story through a series of photos or short video, stressing the importance of building trust between the trainees and their central characters.
Consequently, the stories produced by the twelve trainees tackled a number of issues; either directly related to the hardship of life in Palestinian camps in Lebanon, or the continuous attachment Palestinian refugees demonstrate towards their rich culture and traditions, or simple human pleasures that are usually taken for granted, and others topics like pollution and its consequences on the environment.
Places with Stories
Places are like people; they tell us stories, stories of happiness and stories of misery, stories of successes and stories of failures, stories of love and stories of hate, they simply tell us stories of life in all its colors. The two stories highlighted here do just that. The first raises the important issue of pollution of the Mediterranean sea and how that affects the livelihood of fishermen amongst other things, while the second highlights the danger electricity wires scattered around in every corner of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon constitute causing the death and injury of many every year.
Title: The Migrating Fish
Location: Jadra Beach, Iklim el Kharoub, Lebanon
Description: Due to the intensification of sewage streams and the dumping of garbage and chemical waste on the beaches of the towns of Iklim el Kharoub in southern Lebanon; the rate of visiting fish has declined and the revenue of fishermen has been affected.
Photographer: Ashraf Sahli, Wadi el Zeina gathering, Lebanon, previously Yarmouk camp, Damascus, Syria
Title: Electricity in the Camp
Location: Shatila camp, Beirut, Lebanon
Description: Refugees tremendously suffer from the randomness and danger of electricity, especially in winter.
Photographer: Shadi Said, Ayn el Helweh camp, Saïda, Lebanon
— It is worth mentioning that MASMF works on empowering the youth in Palestinian camps and gatherings in the media field through journalism training to give them the voice to convey their stories to the world professionally away from the stereotypes of the mainstream media. For more information regarding MASMF and the work it does you can visit or website or Facebook page.