OVERVIEW BERLIN WORKSHOP
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
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
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.