A Youth Perspective on a Youth-Led LGBTQ+ & Allies Film Workshop
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
See Stories was awarded a Spirit of Youth - Youth Connection and Engagement Grant in 2020 to lead a project for LGBTQ+ youth and allies to create films on LGBTQ+ related issues and stories. The workshop was developed and led by youth Rafael Bitanga and Logan Mohr, who share a page on instagram you can follow here. Youth learned about how sharing stories can translate into advocacy through a partnership with The Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, who promoted the videos to support LGBTQ+ community members to know their rights. Below you can read about Jax's experience in the workshop in their own words.
"This workshop is something that only can be described as an 'eye-opening' experience. Many times that word is thrown around from place to place, but I truly mean it when I say that it was eye-opening. The people I interviewed, Lacey, Rafael, and Logan were truly some of the most invigorating people I have ever met, and it was such an honor to work with them on a project as meaningful as this one.
Although I loved listening to stories, my favorite part was creating the stop-motion painting in the background. The art itself was candid, but that didn’t mean that it had to lose any of the sentiment that went into its creation. As expected, it proved to be quite a tedious process; three days long, tedious. However, I felt all of the frustration and struggle I had with the image immediately pull away from my body like the tide of an ocean once I saw the finished product.
As far as learning? I’m constantly growing and learning new things each day, but it’s not often that experiences stick out to my one-track mind as this one did. Honestly, I’ve been an independent worker for my entire life, but I finally learned how to coexist with others in a space such as this one. After constantly feeling so much pressure to do everything myself, I found it refreshing to work with such a supportive team. I truly cannot thank them enough for the work we’ve done together, and I am very appreciative of this opportunity."
You can watch the youth produced films below, and enjoy Jax's stop-motion animation, hosted on the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission YouTube channel: