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Showing posts from August, 2011

Photography Week 6

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For our final Photography workshop of the summer of 2011 we had participants write up artist
statements regarding their work.

Although some editing has been completed by the students themselves, the final selections and slideshows and prints will be done by the workshop instructor.





A final photo session was held outdoors across the street from Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre where we photographed some of the demolition of old buildings.








Students and the instructor were also interviewed for a documentary filmed by another Focus youth. Finally students were photographed with the Centre's Project Coordinator Adonis Huggins by Sway Magazine for an article about Adonis and Focus.
Photos by Nick Kozak.











Nathan Phillips Square

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Wednesdays show was about the outpouring of love for Jack Layton from our city.

We then switched gears and talked about how technology, "e-literacy" more specifically, is changing the way we write, speak and communicate with each other. Are we destroying the English language or advancing it?
*photo courtesy of everdaygenius

Radio: RIP Jack Layton

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We were all affected by Jack Layton's passing, and we all highlighted what he stood for, and expressed our sorrow. What will happen to Canada now?

Our half hour on Tuesday is not going to be enough, so we are continuing it on tonight's show as well.

Video Week 7

This week we completed shooting our video. We had some problems setting up the green screen and the lights to finish shooting our scenes. In total we shot 3 scenes on the green screen. Despite the technical difficulties we completed our video and now all that’s left is the editing stage.

Video Production (MONDAY) workshop week six

This week was officially the first week of shooting and we’ve got about 3 scenes done. Everyone got a chance to direct the scenes. Also everyone got a chance to operate the camera and be the sound person. Next week we are ready to finish off shooting the video including the green screen scenes.

-Abdul

Video Production (MONDAY) workshop week five

This week is the first week of shooting but unfortunately our cast was not ready therefore we were not able to shoot. Nonetheless we decided to use green screen for one of our scene and the group was not very knowledgeable in that so we took the time to learn about green screening and found pictures that we will be using in the scene as backgrounds.
-Abdul

Video Production (MONDAY) workshop week four

This week we polished up all the scenes we need, our shooting spots and roles. We learned about storyboards and how to use them. With our storyboards we drew scene by scene and the type of shots we will be using to film the scenes. This was done to confirm that everyone in the group knows the full story and the shots. This will also enable everyone to direct the scenes.
-Abdul

Video Production (MONDAY) workshop week three

This week we voted on one story and started to develop it more so we can come up with a script. By developing the story line and sharing ideas our video changed completely from being a short drama film to a poetry video. We took our original idea of teens committing suicide and turned the story into poetry. We decided that the video would be a poem with visuals that we will shoot. As a group we worked on the poem.

-Abdul

Video Production (MONDAY) workshop week two

This week we learned about the different types of video, drama, documentaries, etc. Then as a group we decided to make a short film on issues that relate to us the most. A video always starts with an idea so we took out pens and papers and begun to innovate ideas for a video. Later we shared our ideas and voted on the one that will become the “product” of this workshop. As a group we decided to produce a video relating to teens committing suicide. Now that we have an idea, we can come up with possible story lines and plots that will be used to give out our message, there are always more options. We were given time to come up with possible stories and then everyone was sent home to think and develop their stories with a proper beginning, middle, and an end.
-Abdul

Video Production (MONDAY) workshop week one

Regent Park Focus kicks of the summer programs, beginning with the video production workshops. First we go to know each other in to workshop, we learned about the types of videos we enjoy watching. Then we continued the workshop with some old Regent Park Focus videos. This helped us frame what type of videos we will be producing through this workshop. Later Isa, the workshop coordinator gave us an introduction to video production, “A video is a story without the papers” he says. We learnt that every video must have a purpose; a video without a purpose is basically useless. A video is often obliged to direct a message to the audiences. 
-Abdul

The Power of Social Media

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On tonight's show, we first talked about Fan Expo and their "speed dating" service. We tried to imagine ourselves being there in full cosplay trying to quickly chat up potential suitors with three facts about ourselves!

We then spoke about the two youth who were sentenced to 4 years in prison for organizing the riots in the UK--by setting up "events" on FACEBOOK. We came to the conclusion that social media (ie. facebook, google etc.) is not only a powerful communication tool, but also a place where your every move is tracked and filed!

There is so much of ourselves that we have put online that we must be responsible for what we put on line, because "big brother" is always watching! Already, social media is taking in our personalities and selling it to corporations who in turn will pepper us with ads while we are emailing, facebooking etc. Pretty creepy.



Fan Expo and Cosplay

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That's right, tonight's show was about the upcoming Fan Expo next Thursday. Our lively discussion veered into personal opinions of which staff member could be a character from Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings, or Buffy. I learned a new term, "cosplay" which is not only dressing up as your favorite superhero/character from a movie/comic but to also go so far as to mimic the exact skin colour! This made us question the appropriateness of stereotypes in some tv shows and movies. All in all, we were quite passionate about how we felt about these characters and shows.

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Ramadan and Comic Book Adaptations

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Last Tuesday's show, we spoke about what we were looking forward to Eid at the end of Ramadan. We explained for listeners who were not familiar with Ramadan its meaning and purpose. Many of our youth, volunteers, and staff observe Ramadan.

We also introduced Wednesday's topic of movies, specifically ones that the youth can't stop discussing: comic book adaptations. William was pretty excited and fist-pumped the air! I wish I had gotten a photo of that! It was interesting to discuss how the printed word and illustration can still outshine their motion picture interpretation.



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Photography Week 5

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We're nearing the end of our Summer Photography Workshop at Focus and this week was spent
mainly on editing.

Initially students were shown work by famous photographer Dianne Arbus and current young photographer Rafal Gerszak who is based in Vancouver and is part of the Boreal Collective based in Toronto.



Students were taught how to use Adobe Lightroom. They individually edited their batches of photos on the Focus Macs. Participants learned the importance of selecting the strongest photos and how to select photos for a photo essay. The editing process will continue next week.






Meanwhile...across the street, Regent Park continues to go through redevelopment.


Photos by Nick Kozak.

Photography Week 4

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After a long weekend break the Summer Photography Workshop was back at it. We finally took some time to view samples of students' work that was shot both outside of workshop hours and during our first few sessions.










New participants were taken on a quick photo tour of Regent Park by our wonderful volunteer assistant Abdul Wahid AL-basith who has been very successful taking on the task of photographing strangers in the area with our workshop students.








The remaining students who had already shot photos of their own for the workshop were introduced to the process of editing their photos and pick out the strongest and most powerful images from their collections.
They learned to use the program Adobe Bridge to do their own editing on the new Mac computers at Focus.

Diva's Go To The AGO!

Last week we went on a field trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario also known as AGO. We saw different types of cool art. The art that I liked were the pop culture. We really enjoyed our trip and it was fun. We saw many creative art works, all different from each other. The art was unique and interesting. We even created our own art by using building wooden blocks. We saw paintings from different artists including the famous Group of Seven. The painting had a story in the background.

-Diva Girls participant

Map of Our Community

In today’s Diva Girls workshop,
The girls did a project, which helped them learn more about the community that they are from. The art project was a community map created by the girls and how they see themselves in their community. The girls talked about all the communities that they are from including, religious communities, school, community centres, cultural centre and even Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre. The girls felt that the Regent Park community is a great place to live in. They made many friends and they have supportive community members.    
This week in Focus, we made maps of Regent Park. We showed where we most often go. I go to the mosque, Focus, the green park, the library, and the book bank. This tells us Regent Park is our home.This map of our community shows us how we fit in. The people in Regent Park are nice and the environment is nice.

Video Week 3

We went over the treatment and other notes we had previously made and started to work on the dialogue for the script.  After some improvements we workshopped the scenes and came up with all of the script.  Next week we will begin shooting.

-Rani

Video Week 2

We decided on the story to use. Then we brainstormed the possible story line and what will happen, what order, etc. We wrote out a rough outline. We also made a list of characters and crew and assigned roles to everyone in the group. Then we made a list of locations, costumes and other props we will need for the shoot and tried to figure out how to arrange for those.

- Rani

VIDEO Week 1

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We got to know each other, and then we discussed movies, genres, what 
everyone likes about different kinds of films, documentaries, etc.
Then we all brainstormed a list of possible themes for our movie.  We 
decided it should be a drama about "Chasing your dreams" - and the 
obstacles and solutions that hinder and help people achieve those 
dreams.  We also came up with a couple possible story lines and plot 
ideas.  Everyone was sent home to think about it for next week.


Rani

Our Week 2 In Diva Girls

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This week in diva girls, we learned how the media shows girls and women how to act, think, and look. We made collages that show that they have to be like a certain way. From our perspective, the aspects are to be you and unique in your own way. We should not be judged by others, we all have equal rights. Our questions in our art piece was, how would it be like if the world was all the same? Our statement for our art piece was, 'You don’t have to be perfect'. If the world was all the same it would be boring and no excitements would happen. Also you should know that you do not always have to be perfect. This is shown in magazines, television, books and all sorts of things that you have to be like this. This week taught us a lesson about how the media portrays girls. We had fun and learned a lot! We had a great experience!
Mahmuda

Diva Girls

The Summer Workshop session for the Diva Girls has begun.
We are going to learn a lot of fun activities during the summer. The first week we talked about our plans for the summer. The girls also drew a picture of what summer means to them. Than, the girls wrote poems of their summer experience. The Diva girls program is an opportunity to bring young girls together and we are even more excited that our summer workshops will not only bring youth from the Regent Park community but from all over the GTA. The girls explored different topics of interest and we plan to do our best to make this summer Diva workshop a successful one.

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival (Caribana)

We spoke about Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival (formally known as Caribana) in tonight's show--focusing on the media's coverage of the shooting leaving 1 man dead and several injured. We questioned why the media jumps onto the violence and does not even mention the positive celebration of Caribana, and the power the media holds in perpetuation stereotypes of certain cultures.

Listen Here!