Thursday, December 13, 2012
In the turbulent Caucasus region people are hostile to one another, at least, that's our assumption. Gathering young journalists from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan seems to be quite a challenge. But are the relationships between people in the former soviet controlled area really that bad? In cooperation with Free Press Unlimited, young camjo's have overcome mutual mistrust and prejudices by making joint multimedia productions. Early December the last trainings took place in Georgia's capital Tbilisi, following earlier workshops in September.

'Multimedia productions are difficult to censor by authorities'
'We didn't have any cultural problems at all. It was great to work together', says one of the participating journalists after the last training. During the workshops in September, three groups were formed, each consisting out of one Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijan journalist. Tricky, considering these countries have been entangled in difficult conflicts for decades. Each group was given a theme, varying from 'activism', 'front-line' and 'traditions'. The groups used these themes to produce a multimedia story, using video, photo and audio. The workshops were given by excellent trainers like photo journalist Onnik Krikorian and filmmaker Jack Janssen. 'Nowadays everything is being done with multimedia, all media are mixed. For the future of journalists in the Caucasus, it is important to learn how to use multimedia. That's why the workshops are very useful', says a participant. 'With multimedia productions you have more freedom, because it is difficult for governments to censor. You can freely choose your topic and appeal to a new audience. You feel free', says a young Camjo.

'We have to become more conscious of each other's lives'
'It is a challenge to show the people of the Caucasus how people live just across the border. We have to become more conscious of each other', says a young Azerbaijan journalist. The last trainings took place in december. The absolute winner was 'The Kingdom', made by the Armenian Nelli Shishmanyan. Using beautiful images and footage, she shows the everyday life of an Armenian family, living in a village right on the border with Azerbaijan. Also George Gogua from Georgia did an amazing job with his production about the Marneuli-region where Armenians and Azerbaijani coexist in peace. 'The most valuable thing from this training are the internationals friendships we have developed ', says one of the young journalists.

The trainings are supported by: Free Press Unlimited, IREX media and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Georgia.