Learning to leverage the power of social media

Sabyasachi & Tanmay (The Facilitator) with Intern Akhilesh ( Extreme Right)

A social media training workshop, December 2020

With the ever-increasing influence of social media all around us, it is crucial to learn to leverage its power to articulate, engage, and organize. With this goal in mind, a social media training workshop was organized from 6th to 10th December 2020 at Mo. Budhiya Shiksha Nirman Sangathan, MBSNS centre, Araria. Specific objectives of the workshop were to learn skills to make memes, posters, and videos; create content to release over the next few weeks; and plan for a social media campaign on the 3rd of January. The workshop was facilitated by Sabyasachi and Tanmay, and saw the participation of several JJSS interns and youth, all first generation learners, including Chandani, Vikram, Deepak, Raghunandan, Akhilesh, Aman, Doli, and Krischam.

Idea and Story Board Creation

The first day of the workshop began with an introduction to the steps of making videos. These included: coming up with an idea; creating a storyboard; getting materials together; and editing. Participants were also encouraged to use humor as a means to draw attention to their videos. The day ended with collectively identifying the issues that participants would like to make a video on, and everyone was given the homework of coming up with a storyboard for the next session.

The next day started with an exciting session on storyboards prepared by each participant. Four participants went further than the given task and also prepared some videos. Participant’s enthusiasm for creating videos was apparent from the fact that none of them wanted breaks between sessions, and all of them came back earlier from their lunch and tea breaks. As one participant put it, “usually we get bored in workshops and don’t want to come rushing back to sessions, but this time we don’t want to leave the sessions.” This emphasizes how deeply today’s youth is interested in the new technologies and how these must be utilized to further and strengthen our work.

Day 3 of the workshop was dedicated to selecting and distributing themes on which the participants would work on. Themes revolved around social and political issues, such as Health, Unemployment, Floods, Rations, NRC, Communalism, Inter-religious and Intercaste love relationships, Same-sex relationships, and Superstitions, among others. Based on their themes, participants were asked to search for songs and make a video. The day ended with the presentation of 21 videos created by the participants. These videos provoked deep emotions and surpassed all expectations of quality and content. This boosted the confidence of participants: “we had not thought that we would be able to make such good videos!”

The final day of the workshop went into refining and fine-tuning the videos based on feedback and learning. The participants also planned for systematically releasing the videos on various social media platforms, and decided to meet again for an advanced social media workshop. The workshop ended with an assurance of the immense potential of social media as well as of our youth who are ready to use these new platforms creatively to continue the fight for a better world.

Please do see one such video created by a participant after the workshop, for 3rd January, Savitri Bai Phule’s Jayanti.

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