The Ocean Generation Project was invited to work with the young community of Micoud, St Lucia to provide new skills and education with the young community. As part of the local schools summer camp, we had the privilege to become involved and curate a week long course of ‘documentary film making’ about our oceans. So, after a few phone calls with the St. Lucia Ministry and some emails with the Micoud ICT staff, we were on our way.
We landed at Hewanorra International on Sunday 13th, tired but excited, eager to start working with the young community of Micoud. After getting some well needed rest we woke early on Monday morning for our first day at the local community centre.
We were greeted by Chanin Aimable, the manager of the (newly built) ICT centre. Based within the grounds of the secondary school and rehearsal room to the local steel pan group, we were amazed at the facility and the technology provided by the local council. Not long after settling in, we were surrounded by 60+ enthusiastic and energetic kids greeting us and all wanting to get started filming, documenting and learning.
At the beginning of the week we set the challenge for the kids to document and film their stories of ‘how ocean pollution affects you’, a constant issue the island faces year by year. We broke them up into 9 different groups all with the same target to produce a short film addressing topics as critical plastic pollution on beaches and contamination in fish, to showcase at ‘The Ocean Generation Film Awards’ at the end of the week.
After exploring the island, we soon discovered the issues that the community of Micoud faced. As we entered the town, a strong scent of Sargassum seaweed stranded on their local coastline cast a foul stench over the community, attracting mosquitos and sand flies that eat away at the fishermens catches/hauls on the beach.
We spoke to the local fishermen and they told us that they aren’t able to fish outside of the current as their boats and tools aren’t strong enough to withstand the waves. Thousands of plastic bottles, straws and other items laced the streets and beaches of the area too. We encouraged the young groups to capture this footage and include it within their documentaries to show real examples of what is happening. Throughout the week the documentaries grew in formats as diverse as action movies, solution based documentaries and art plastic projects.
Sunday came around too quickly and it was the Summer Camp Graduation. Amongst all the celebrations of a successful week, we were able to setup a film screening (with popcorn provided!) to showcase all the short films the groups made. This was also a fantastic opportunity to show parents, the local community and Minister of Education Dr. Gale Rigobert, the young peoples ocean stories of St. Lucia.
“Working with these incredibly inspiring and enthusiastic children really opened my eyes to the ocean pollution here in St Lucia. We managed to document important and real footage through the eyes of this young community. We hope to replicate this programme across all other islands and communities to spread the word about ocean pollution” – Daisy Kendrick, Founder
Watch all the student films below