Université Laval, Quebec City, June, 15th, 2017 (Alphonse Nguyen). “Je veux aller loin” means “I want to go far”. The bold words written in French captures attention of those who pass by the main hall of Pavillon Alphonse Desjardins building. This hall will be the location of the SIGNIS World Congress 2017 from 19 to 22 of June. From the date of its establishment, SIGNIS has long been committed to the mission of promoting a culture of peace. As participants in the Congress we will be reflecting on the theme “Media for a Culture of Peace - Promoting Stories of Hope.”
From 10 to 18 of June, a special workshop is organized in the same location of the Congress with the guidance and support of Mr. Larry Rich (former producer of Maryknoll) and Mr. Lawrence John (Chair of the Media Education desk and Vice-president of SIGNIS). This workshop offers the opportunity to young filmmakers coming from different continents and time zones to gain a deeper understanding of role of media in seeking hope and joy in a world full of bad news, negativism and sad images. The team of eight young artisans includes Vi Cao (Vietnam), Lawrence (Kenya), Tae (Thailand), Stanley (India), Sunny (Myanmar), Edgar (Indonesia), Branko (Ethiopia), Anne-Marie (Canada). These young men and women are members of the Video Journalist project which was introduced in 2009. The project is to gather young Catholics from different regions of the world with the vision of empowering a new generation of Catholic communicators.
The young artisans are divided into two production groups. They will approach a non-governmental organization named Lauberiviere (Sunrise on the river), a multi-service center offering shelter and food for homeless people, in Quebec City. Two short videos will be produced after the eight days of the workshop and showed to the international participants of the Congress.
The workshop is chance for these video journalists to work together as an international team with people of different backgrounds, cultures and languages. Most importantly, these young catholic filmmakers will determine where and how far they want to go from here after the Congress. Each individual young artisan has their own journey of engagement with SIGNIS, and how they find hope when they try and fail.
The first date of workshop closed with a quote from Barbara Hall, known for creating and producing CBS legal drama Judging Amy, “The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.” This reflects the stories shared by young artisans facing obstacles in their home country while doing media work. Nevertheless, they all by their actions have committed themselves to the Church’s universal mission “proclaim ‘the Gospel of peace’ (Eph 6:15),” which continues with by their participation in the workshop at Université Laval because Je veux aller loin.