November 19-20, 2005

The European and Indian participants of Imaging HIV / AIDS, the television training workshop under the MEDIAIDS project, came together again in Berlin, under the stewardship of the partnering organization, Deutsche Welle Akademie.

Five of the Indian participants arrived in a group together from India, while the sixth joined them later from Paris. The European participants came in from different parts of Europe and they all met up at the apartments on Einsenzahnstrasse, in the neighbourhood of the well-known Ku-dammstrasse area.

The next day was basically a free day, so most took advantage of the friendly offer by a local Berliner and media consultant, Joerg Grossmann, for a half-day tour around Berlin.

November 21, 2005

The workshop began with a finely orchestrated formal inauguration, charmingly started by Mr. Frank Lemke, Deputy Director of DW-Akademie. The Editors and participants, who were to work together in the coming days, as well as the DW Project Manager, Charles Achaye-Odong, the DW Journalist Trainer, Robert Donauer, the German HIV/AIDS-expert, Ms. Harriet Langanke, alongwith the Project Manager from India, Ms. Neelima Mathur, all had an opportunity to get to know each other. After which, the two-week schedule of editing and the logistics were clearly explained to the participants.

After lunch at the DW canteen (which soon became the familiar place for a chat and some fun and laughter), it was time to get into the spirit of the workshop. Ms. Harriet Langanke conducted a session on HIV / AIDS in Europe that highlighted issues over the past decades and the possible scenario in the future.

Five in the evening was German lesson time, an hour that most participants seemed very excited and happy about.

Naturally, the first evening was set aside for a fine dinner. Dr. Andrea Ruebenacker, who had come to the New Delhi workshop, had personally chosen a special Turkish restaurant for this evening, one of her favourite places. For the Indians it was almost familiar taste, for the Europeans, even if familiar, surely still exotic.

November 22, 2005

Participants received an intense bird's eyeview of HIV / AIDS and grassroot action. The morning was spent at a home that offers a transitional rehab living space for HIV Positive persons.
The visit to Orangerie was probably the most memorable experience for everyone. Lunch in a cafe where food is cooked and served mostly by HIV positive people, all dressed in red. Wonderful food, wonderful people, wonderful experience.
Later in the evening, participants visited Cafe Positiv, where they met Pits, who runs the cafe and a dramatic activist, Sverjana, who held everyone captive.

November 23, 2005

Participants were introduced to Björn Kempa of Carasana Films, who works with adolescents and young people to develop ideas and make PSAs. The participatory methodology has resulted in innovative (and often award-winning) messaging styles that have attracted continuous attention over time, especially in public spaces like the metro. Participants had a chance to view a variety of material that Mr. Kempas had brought with him.
Later, Ms. Harriet Langanke, screened PSAs from the early years of the HIV / AIDS campaign in Germany, which also brought up many points for discussion. The over-riding impression focused more on the similarity of experience between nations that begin to deal with the issue of HIV / AIDS in the media.
The discussion continued at another level with the visit of Mr. Thomes and Ms. Ines Lehmann of the Berliner Aids-Hilfe. They had strong views on the role of media and attitudes in society, which they shared openly with the participants.

November 24, 2005

The DW Journalist Trainer took an intensive session on writing for the screen. The session began with viewing many news stories without hearing the narration. This enabled a lot of discussion on the 'talking value' of visuals as an inherent part of story-telling. It led to the natural requirement of news story writing, namely keeping it short, sharp and snappy.

November 25, 2005

From this day, all focus of activity was on Ellen Röthinger, Ingrid Schramme, and Heinz Hommel, the three editors who were assigned for editing the news features and PSAs. The editors had been viewing the material and uploading it on their edit systems over the past few days and gave the participants some basic feedback about the material.
The rest of the day, participants, who were working in the same groups they had formed in New Delhi, had short sessions with the editors to chalk out plans for the coming week.

November 26-27, 2005

The weekend was free from work. Participants had a guided tour of the city of Berlin on Saturday and were taken for a brunch outing on Sunday, facilitated by Rochsana Soraya.

November 28-29, 2005

Participants got engaged in an intensive schedule of editing, PSA teams working until lunch and news story teams working after lunch. The Project Manager, India, Ms. Neelima Mathur, supported them with the preparation and structuring, while Ms. Harriet Langanke gave her inputs as HIV / AIDS expert. Participants were strongly advised to confer by email with the HIV / AIDS expert in India, Dr. Jaya Shreedhar, before finalizing their storyline and narration.

November 30, 2005

Participants worked with Mr. Robert Donauer and Ms. Neelima Mathur on their respective narration and text right through the day.

December 1, 2005

Ms. Monica Solem and Mr. John Berwick went deep into each edited story and PSA. They had many queries that were clarified by Ms. Neelima Mathur and contributed to the fine-tuning of the text. The participants found their involvement very engaging and learnt many tips on writing from them.

December 2, 2005

It was a mad rush to finish all editing work to the best possible extent. The participants diligently sat through the entire process with the editors after they could not wait to set out to party.
There was a little matter of feedback and form-filling and ofcourse, the awaited certificates. Mr. Carsten von Nahmen, also a Deputy Directorat DW, handed over the certificates with pleasure --- and ensuring he pronounced every name right.
The party-time. Café Positiv, with an African dinner evening, was an inviting thought for all. It felt familiar and comfortable to be back with Pits, her dog, Kira and friend, Sverjana. Ofcourse, the participants would not have an early evening --- and it was off to Roses, essentially a gay bar in fashionable Berlin. The night was endless…rather, the night became morning.

December 3, 2005

DEPARTURE from Berlin --- some went home, some to holiday in gay Paris or Sweden. Suddenly, the by-now much-talked-about MEDIAIDS television training, "IMAGING HIV / AIDS", was over.
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