07/05/2012 16:52

Young people of Solomon Islands interpreting the Visual Age

We live in a visual age, and the digital natives of Don Bosco Technical Institute, Bishop Epalle, St John’s, St Nicholas’ School and St Joseph’s gathered at Don Bosco Animation Centre, Kola Ridge from 4th to 6th May, 2012. They spent the weekend learning about how our visual world is constructed and how it can be interpreted.

This was the third weekend Media Seminar hosted by DBTI at the Don Bosco Animation Centre, Kola Ridge, Honiara. The students, under the guidance of animators Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb and DBTI teacher Penny Chilton, explored ideas ranging from the parts of the camera and the basics of photography, through to the construction of advertising and how we can “read” the images that are increasingly part of everyday life. Skills such as this are vital as our world continues to become more digitalized through the growing presence of mobile phones, television and the Internet.

“The presentation of Chilton was moving as I discovered that media plays an important part in controlling us. Being aware of this enables us make informed decisions. I will help others understand this as well”, said Dominic Tsibuen, St. Joseph’s Secondary School animator. Young people are constantly swamped by visual stimulation and the development of interpretive skills such as this helps them to make wise and objective choices about how they interact with the world around them. Students had the opportunity to engage with short films, photographs, cartoons and posters as they learned the tricks of the visual editor’s trade and put them to use in the creation of their own newsletters, articles and advertisements to be displayed on their school noticeboards.

“Programmes like this are very helpful as they help us shape our lives at an early stage”, said Eagon Riumana, Don Bosco Technical student while St. Nicholas Secondary School Form 4 student had this to say, “Reading images and reflecting on videos has been interesting as it opens my mind to think along different lines”.

Participants in these seminars have previously learned about writing articles and using radio. The aim of the organizer, Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb, is that students should be equipped with the tools they need to interact and communicate effectively with the world around them so that they can become involved and thoughtful members of society, active in the decisions of the future. Feedback thus far has been very positive, with many students saying that such programs should be a regular part of schooling and that they wish the program could be provided to students who don’t attend one of the participating schools.

Thanks are due to all of the teachers especially Ms Penny Chilton, AVI Volunteer teaching Communications and Drama Teacher at Don Bosco Technical Institute who through a variety of visuals has brought them closer to the tools they constantly use. Thanks also go out to the teachers and helpers who have contributed to the success of the weekend through their preparation, hard work and caring supervision.

There are two seminars still remaining to complete the 5 weekend program. (Ambrose Pereira/CBC Communications 070512 - giorgiolicini@yahoo.com)