Gorm Media's The Wideshot Programme empowers the next generation of diverse storytellers
You may have seen the phrase “Diversity not division” pop up on your screen recently. As anti-immigrant sentiment in Ireland grows, different groups take to the streets. During the ‘Ireland for All’ protest in Dublin last month, REFUGEES WELCOME signs were met with IRELAND IS FULL signs, as protesters faced unwanted counter-groups. The influx of refugees and migrants in Ireland seems to be triggering hateful and fearful responses across the country, as we witness an already increasing divide within our society.
At GORM, we believe that the media can be a powerful tool to bridge across differences, which includes ethnic and cultural differences. We are adamant this can be achieved by enabling people from underrepresented communities to use their voices and share their stories. 1 in 8 people in Ireland are of culturally diverse backgrounds, yet we do not see this representation reflected in the media. In fact, when looking to who works on screen and behind the screen in Ireland’s media industry, it’s looking pretty homogenous. It is quite obvious the media lacks representation and this means a large group of diverse voices is not being heard.
Cue ‘The Wideshot’ Programme! GORM has launched a pilot talent development programme for young people from marginalised communities to develop their skills in digital storytelling. The aim of this programme is to increase cultural and ethnic representation in the creative media industry. Working together with 4 charity partners, namely Africa Centre, AMAL Women’s Association, Doras Luimni and Irish Traveller Movement, the programme is a series of workshops and trainings which will allow young people aged 18-25 to learn alongside industry professionals. The programme ends with a week-long summer accelerator for a selected group of participants, during which they will get the chance to tell their own story.
Further, The Wideshot works towards closing a gap in pathways to education in creative media for ethnic minority youth. Discovered through Gorm’s previous work with youth from diverse backgrounds and academic research completed by founder and CEO Mamobo Ogoro, there is a major need for education opportunities in this area.
Although industry professionals from underrepresented communities are slowly getting the attention they deserve, as recently seen by Michelle Yeoh, the first Asian-American women to win an Oscar for best actress for her role in “Everything Everywhere All at once”, there are many voices still waiting to be heard. By giving young people the education and tools to tell their own stories we are opening the media up to a world full of captivating stories yet to be told. Through our programme ‘The Wideshot’, we enable young people to use their voices and thus empower the storytellers of tomorrow!