This project aims to create a state-of-the-art digital media lab in Thimphu that will enable underserved Bhutanese youth to (1) creatively express themselves through digital media, (2) seek employment opportunities with media agencies, and (3) nurture their capacities as active citizens.
Since Bhutan's transition to democracy in 2008, Bhutanese youth - comprising 59% of the country's population - have been undeserved and excluded from the democratic process. They are negatively portrayed by the media; not consulted by policymakers for decisions; and have few outlets to voice their opinions in schools. Outside of school, there are few facilities for youth to pursue learning and to stay engaged. This has led to a rise in gang formation, drug abuse and violence in urban areas.
This project will take a three-pronged approach to empowering Bhutanese youth: (1) to develop a creative space where young people can go to freely access digital media technology; (2) to teach them how to document and portray issues that impact their lives through documentary filmmaking, citizen journalism, digital photography, graphic design, podcast production; and (3) help them use these productions to advocate for positive solutions to these issues.
By developing this space, we hope to create a center for youth to learn collaboratively, develop their skills in creativity and media-making, incubate ideas that they can then implement, and, most importantly, to care about their stake in Bhutan's democracy. As youth continue to use their voice in a creative and responsible manner, public perception about youth will become more positive, and decision-makers will incorporate their input into decision-making.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
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