Media training for Medicinal Plants Project

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

By Tommy Esau, Researcher

Five members from Kwainaa`isi Cultural Centre and two other members from Aru`ilage group in West Kwaio have participated in a video editing training to enable the documenting of traditional medicinal plants. This workshop was run during May for the next phase of Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) funding. The first phase of CEPF funding resulted in the production of the first ever bilingual book (English/Kwaio), concerning the medicinal and cultural uses of 15 plants from the East Kwaio region. Small video clips were also made about the uses of these plants. The second phase will see the book and videos expanded in size and content, with the East Kwaio participants taking the lead in the production.

The training was conducted by Ben Speare (who ran a similar training during 2016) and included topics such as taking footage, camera positing and exposure. The training also covers technical aspects on video editing, software, organizing videos and writing subtitles. The training uses a learn-by-doing approach, where participants actually working on their own videos clips during the field work for the medicinal plants project. This involves organizing different video clips and arranging them to make a story and finally producing little video clips.

Participants have expressed that this is the first time they had a chance to handle a computer and were fortunate to be introduced to this editing program. Maasafi from Kwainaa`isi have said “the training is timely and is very significant for the medicinal plant project that we’re currently working on at the moment.” Fo`oori another member from Kwainaa`isi group also stated that “this training has changed the way I see and frame things. Now I know the different techniques I can use when I get footage next time. I am so happy that this training will be beneficial for our work at Kwainaa`isi.”

Chief Esau Kekeubata from Kwainaa`isi also commented, “this is good to see our group has gained this knowledge and skills; that means that we can now take the greater role in the production of the filming and editing for different works that we will be doing at the cultural Centre, instead of relying much on outsider and this is our aim.”

Gaining this knowledge and skills will be valuable for much of our up-coming work at the Kwainaa`isi Cultural Centre into the future. The work of documenting traditional knowledge about culture and medicine is one of the priority areas for Kwainaa`isi, and that young people are the drivers of this work is very promising. It is important to document these unique traditional knowledge as they are disappearing today. All participants are super excited to be involved and about the prospect of the project thus far. We look forward for this similar kind of training in the future.

For more information: Tommy Esau or David MacLaren