Young Journalists in the Mediterranean Competition: the winners and the videos
Great success for this second edition of the JJEM (Young Journalists in the Mediterranean) competition that leads us on a voyage through the streets of Algiers and Cairo, from Nubia to the neighbourhoods in the north of Marseille all the way to Western Sahara. Here are the winners and the links to their films. Happy viewing!
This second edition of the JJEM (Young Journalists in the Mediterranean) competition offers a great selection of films – vibrant, compelling, poetical, militant… - that lead us through the streets of Algiers and Cairo, from Nubia to the neighbourhoods in the north of Marseille all the way to Western Sahara.
Two short films promptly captured the attention of the jury members, journalists of the Web Arts Resistance media partners (Babelmed, Inkyfada, Mashallah News, Onorient, Radio M, Tabasco).
In the first film, Je suis là (I am there) by Farah Abadah, the camera follows a young artist who uses her body in dangerous and courageous installations. We were particularly impressed by her audacity.
The second film, Chanter pour la Nubie (Singing for Nubia) by Martin Roux, tells the story of a collective cultural struggle to save what is left of the Nubian culture buried under the waters of the Aswan dam. The jury was touched by the images of this voyage that went way beyond folklore.
Another forgotten cause is that of the Sahrawi people in Echoes Through The Wall by Meriem Naili, a very efficient and rhythmical film about refugees who have been exiled for 41 years in the southwest of Algeria.
“How to transform existential and individual distress into collective investigation?”
This is the question asked by the youngest winner of this contest. Farah Wally was only 18 years old when she filmed Cerca Trova. Young Cairenes speak up in this poetical and intimate fresco that captivated all the members of the jury.
A special award was unanimously granted to the short film Les quartiers Nord exposent leurs clichés (The Northern neighbourhoods display their snapshots) by Manon Beligni, Clément Klein and Alice Rabecq. The film slips into the neighbourhoods at the north of Marseille where an original initiative by the “Lieux Publics” association taught children and teenagers to use photography as a means to tell stories about their territory. The works of these precocious artists generate overwhelming emotions!
Souad, a young artist, performs in the streets of Algiers. She is often faced with people’s hostility. Her art becomes a struggle to assert her place in society. “Je suis là” questions the role of artists in contemporary Algeria as it underlines the timeless relationship between the individual and the group.
I am an Algerian journalist and filmmaker born in Paris in 1989.
After a BA in Commerce at the eHEC in Algiers and a Master degree in Journalism at the ESJ in Paris, I specialized in video. After my studies, I worked as an Image Journalism intern at France 24 in Paris and went back to Algiers where I worked as a video correspondent for Agence France Presse (AFP). I filmed my first short documentary “Je suis là” in September 2016.
In parallel to my work at AFP I was third assistant director for Karim Moussaoui, Algerian director of the film “En attendant les hirondelles” (Waiting for the swallows) selected for Cannes this year.
42 year old Zakariya Tag El Sir comes from Soheil, a small Nubian island South of Aswan. Roughly 2000 people live here, the eldest arrived in the sixties, exiled because of the construction of the great Aswan dam wanted by Nasser to control the water level of the Nile and produce electricity. The dam, 111 meters tall and 4 kilometres long, created a lake whose surface represents half of the territory of Lebanon. It submerged not only the Nubian land but also its history.
The Nubian culture stems from one of the most ancient African civilizations, yet has no place in the Egyptian national history. The Nubian population spreads along the Nile between Northern Sudan and Southern Egypt. Since the independence of Sudan in 1956, an international border divides the ancestral Nubian territory.
On the island of Soheil, Zakariya Tag El Sir is the only professional actor and musician, member of the famous Egyptian theatre group El Warsha, one of the first declared Free Theatre groups in the country. He dedicated his life to music and decided to give voice to the Nubian people. In 2006, the musician created a centre to teach the children of Soheil the songs and history of their culture, the Nubian culture. Zakariya armed himself with his lute and his voice in his struggle against the slow extinction of this ancient culture.
Martin Roux is a multimedia journalist living in Egypt. After a year in Lebanon where he filmed news reports for the Associated Press Agency, he moved to Cairo where he underwent an intensive course in the Arabic language. His work mostly focuses on cultural and civil issues.
This short film was inspired by a Robert Desnos quote: “Who then has compared boredom to dust? Boredom and eternity are absolutely pure of any spot. A mental sweeper carefully surveys the despairing cleanliness. Did I say despairing? Boredom could no more engender despair than it could end in suicide. You who have no fear of death, try a little boredom. Death will henceforth be of no use to you. Once and for all, there will have been revealed to you the immobile torment and the distant perspectives of the mind freed of all sense of the picturesque and of all sentimentality...” Cerca/Trova wishes to provide a voice to the obscured topic of suicide, a taboo concept in Egypt because of the important role played by religion. This film sends a message to all of those who feel isolated in their “existential anguish”.
I was born on February 3rd 1988 in Cairo. I did a double major in Political Science and Economy at Cairo University and at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. I quickly found in philosophy and art a way to escape from the monotony of daily life. I think that if art has an aim, it must be to capture people's attention by presenting the important things in life.
That is why, impressed by filmmakers who use images to approach philosophy while maintaining an aesthetic dimension in their work, I made my first short film when I was 18. Entitled “Cerca/Trova” (Search/Find in Italian), this film uses a philosophical approach to suicide. It deals with the reality of separation and the generation gap, especially in a very conservative country like Egypt where young artists are confronted with an older generation that still censors or considers as taboo certain forms of artistic expression. Finally, the film's message is summed up by one of the interviewees: “Why let them win?”
While taking part in the Sahara Marathon last February, I had the chance to stay with a family of Sahrawi refugees exiled for 41 years in the southwest of Algeria. Western Sahara has been in conflict with Morocco since Spain left in 1975 and still awaits a peaceful solution. Song and dance are not only their instruments of protest but also a way to sustain the unity of their community and celebrate the independence that they have long been yearning for.
I was born in Grenoble from Tunisian and Algerian parents. I grew up with one foot on each side of the Mediterranean. I studied Law in Grenoble and Amsterdam, specializing in human rights and refugee rights. I then emigrated to Great Britain where I studied Journalism at the City of London University. I started a freelance career last year, writing mostly about issues involving asylum-seekers and refugees.
The Marseille association “Lieux Publics” (Public Spaces) organized photographic workshops for students from the neighbourhoods in the north of Marseille to tell us about their city. This community project “Le Nord fait le mur” (“The North goes over the wall”) is a great way for participants to use a particular artistic approach to describe their lives and the territory they live in.
I studied Graphic Design for printed media. While working on a project, I discovered video. After completing my Advances Studies in Applied Arts degree in Responsible Design, I decided to explore the possibilities of video by volunteering at Tabasco Video.
After studying Political Science, I studied film production in order to consider other ways of illustrating sociological research. I moved to Marseille and studied Citizen Journalism while doing voluntary community service in a participatory video association. At the end of this training I can see different horizons in video, in research.
I came to Marseille last September to study Citizen Journalism and to write a Political Sociology thesis on the measures taken by associations to deal with poverty. This experience in Marseille confirms my strong interest in field work with non-profit organizations involved in popular education.