During September 2004 Dan Higgins and Jane Kramer joined Ikel Robateau
to offer a video production workshop for nine students who were part of
URACCAN's Preparatorio Program. This is a special program in which
people from remote Miskito communities have been invited to live on
Kamla campus and work toward both their high school education and
degree. The program will require seven years and this was the first
of the students' residency. The students were bright, enthusiastic, and
worked beautifully together as a group.
Besides covering the basics of video production the focus of the
was on having the students think of ways they could use the technology
to express what was important to them, recognizing the character of
cultures and acknowledging the uniqueness of their situation.
For an early project they produced a visual collage of their lives in
dormitory, and in interviews they discussed what having the opportunity
of being at URACCAN meant to them.
Their final project involved the filming of "Sisimiki", a legend known
to all of them from the Miskito communites. It is the story of an odd
of a man who lives alone in the bush, yearns for a wife, captures a
girl, and takes her back to live with him. The film is filled with
as first the girl's mother dies from the shock of hearing what has
to her daughter, and later the father dies from a broken heart.
the girl gives birth to a child for Sisimiki who later in the video
into a young man, attempts to help his mother go back to look for her
is attacked by his father Sisimiki, kills his father in the struggle,
the mother cross a river, and in order to escape his uncle leaps across
the river himself and finds freedom with his mother.
This story touches on many the unversal themes of mythology. The
each had a role to play, figured out how to act it, set up the shots,
with very limited props and a great deal of imagination produced the
sequences in just one morning.
We have a DVD available that shows both the documentary making of
and a version of Sisimiki itself with english subtitles. The work this
group produced is a terrific example of a group of people using video
explore issues important to them. It an ideal realization of the goals
of the Video Project the Sister City Program established at URACCAN in
2000 and continues to support with technology and training.
URACCAN VIDEO GROUP 2004
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