V isual Storytelling Lab Description.In 2018 Balkan’s Gate featured a new event: the Visual Storytelling Lab, an intensive workshop directed by Nathaniel Hansen, a director from the US. Over 10 days, working with a group of 12 young, aspiring journalism students from Shkodër, Hansen together with Ajola Daja, and Balkan’s Gate staff, explored difficult issues that were important to the students, selected one issue to become the focus of a film, and in the end produced a 10 minute documentary and a 90 second PSA about domestic violence. The project outcome exceeded the expectations of Balkans Gate staff, and the student participants greatly benefited from their time working toward a common storytelling goal, and have engaged in sharing their work online and via social media.
The purpose of the workshop is to empower youth, especially young journalism students, by giving them the opportunity to face their reality and find their voice as artists and journalists. The question we ask at Balkan’s Gate, is what if those journalism student face their reality in a creative way? We want to curate an intensive working experience for the next generation of Albanian storytellers, to help them understand that they have the power to change hearts and minds, the power to show the public a new way of seeing their world and the communities in which they live, and the power to present information and difficult topics in a way that is engaging, accessible, but also visually meaningful, even beautiful.
Most people in Albania have lost faith in the media and journalism’s ability to remain impartial when reporting the news or investigating social issues. Conversely, journalists in Albania are, in most cases, not truly free to express themselves. In 2018, Albania ranked #75 in the World Press Freedom Index, and 80% of journalists reported a negative view of their job security and working conditions, which has led to unprecedented self-censorship both within and without major media outlets. Our hope with the Visual Storytelling Lab, is to get in front of the next generation of storytellers and news-makers. To be inspired by their optimism and to give them tools to not only survive in an industry that is tough, but hopefully to thrive and change the status quo.
During a 10-day residency all student participants in the Visual Storytelling Lab will work together to make this happen. Each day, the group will meet for both a lecture and a hands-on lab, and will take lessons from Nathaniel Hansen. The objective is for them to produce something individually, and collectively, to feel ownership over what they’ve produced, but it’s also to have a hands on experience with the production process, with oversight by a veteran storyteller.
The group will have the possibility to learn from each other’s experience, and to make more qualitative works in the end of the project. We want to create a group that can know each-other and in the future will fight together to improve the state of media, journalism, and storytelling in Albania and in the Balkans. We believe that the collaboration in this form will be more successful and in the end of the project we will have more stories and documentaries to share about the issues that we face as a community, and as a nation.
DIRECTOR OF VISUAL STORYTELLING LAB
With origin from Portland,Oregon, Nathaniel Hansen is winner of Peabody Award. Emmy Award-nominated producer, award-winning director, director of photography and editor.
His independent films have been screened at hundreds of festivals around the world, including Tribeca, SXSË, Hot Docs, Camden, RiverRun and Boston Independent Film Festival. Boston Globe calls his film “The Elders” a hit. His short films have been featured online by sites such as the New York Times, LA Times, Atlantic, Quartz and PBS. Nathaniel’s commercial work has been featured by brands such as Pantone, Clinique, Care.com, Health Catalyst, D&B, Estée Lauder, Johnson & Johnson and Dartmouth Hitchcock.
He holds MA and MFA degrees from Emerson College, where he is also a faculty member and lecturer. Nathaniel lives in Boston with his family.
Visual Storytelling 2020
Visual Storytelling 2019
Mother's milk, Father's blood. (00:06:46)
The documentary is based on the story of real characters who highlight family relationships, addressing gender inequality. Two women, one old and the other young , will recount parts of their lives.
VISUAL STORYTELLING 2019
Visual Storytelling 2018
VISUAL STORYTELLING 2018