My experience in the 12th International Youth Media Summit (IYMS) 2017 held in Sweden…

International Youth Media Summit (IYMS)

International Youth Media Summit (IYMS) is a two week event that brings young people from all around the globe to create media projects which aim to inspire youth to take action and responsibility for the future. By confronting and examining the global pertinent issues and at the same time exploring the way outs together, they are bound in a shared purpose.  International Youth Media Summit was founded in 2006 by Evelyn Seubert, James Gleason (Cleveland High School, Los Angeles, California) and Aileen Marshall (Screen School, Glasgow, Scotland); and organized by the Teen International Media Exchange (TIME). Over the last ten years, more than 600 young delegates and their adult advisers representing 50 countries have participated in IYMS.

IYMS aims to give young people from around the globe the opportunity to work beyod borders, collaborate on media projects and motivate one another to take actions to shape the better world. At each summit, the delegates explore the power and impact of meddia to transform attitudes, behaviors and lives. Then they apply their awareness to the making of films about social issues that matter the most to them. At the summit, delegates identified the most urgent global issues as; Violence, Discrimination, Poverty, Environment, Health, Women’s Rights and Youth Empowerment. Short films are based on these seven issues in the following years. The final products of each summit include seven short films, each focused on finding a better solution to those issues, and seven workshop guides, tools to accompany the films to stimulate dialogue and action in community settings around the world.

My involvement in International Youth Media Summit

It’s been two years I have heard and known about International Youth Media Summit (IYMS) and since then it has become very intimate part of my life. There were 4 people (including me) organizing the 11th International Youth Media Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal last year. It was a great year working for IYMS-2016; a complete package of working under pressure, happiness, despair, satisfaction, energized, low, sleepless nights, unexpected failures and what not. In the end, what a great event it happened to be.

IYMS
IYMS-2016!!

The theme of this year’s International Youth Media Summit was “Moving Together For A Creative Reality: YOUTH MEDIA IN THE TIME OF VIRTUAL REALITY” And the 12th International Youth Media Summit (IYMS) was held in Katrinebergs folkhögskola — Region Halland, Sweden from 27th July, 2017 until 9th August, 2017. It was the first time that IYMS was held in Northern Europe since it’s inception in 2006. The founders of this wonderful event are Ms. Evelyn Mary Seubert and James Gleason.  This year I got to be a photographer as well as social media manager for the 12th International Youth Media Summit. In this post, I am sharing the experience of my participation in this wonderful event.

1. Before the summit…

Before joining the summit in Sweden, we (from the developing nations) had a different summit to climb and it was getting a visa. After a hectic and lengthy visa procedures, we were happy when we got the visa interview dates. But the sad thing was my interview date was during the summit (on the 6th of August). So it was another hard work trying to communicate the officials of the embassy. The organizers were doing their best to pre-pone the dates not just for us but for everyone fighting a visa battle. Luckily we had our visa interviews few days (a week) before the summit and passed through it. International Youth Media Summit turned to be real for the second time in a row; eventually we’re traveling to Sweden. A portrayal of hardships and struggles during the process of visa application and procedures was later showcased in the talent show as well. The story was entitled; The Visa Game!

2. First day at Sweden…

I was already excited seeing the aerial view even before landing. The lush green forests, numerous blue lakes, roads, beautiful settlement areas were so captivating that I couldn’t take my eyes off them. While going to the venue from the airport, I was tired, hungry yet very curious. How I wished I had ability to see all over at once because I was loving it. After a while, we witnessed a surprising thing and that was traffic jam for almost an hour. But during the time, we got to introduce with other people from IYMS and social with the ones we knew beforehand. There were many people awaiting us in the venue. It was an emotional moment. Recalling the last year’s farewell seemed like yesterday and how joyous we all were being together. After sometime, we got to our rooms, refreshed ourselves and ate Nepali foods during the midnight (as we had to cook on our own).

3. Knowing Sweden more…

  1. Fika– coffee/tea/juice with cake/cookies was one of the best things about the Swedish food for me.
  2. Tap water – Sweden has a reputation for being clean and pollution-free. It’s okay to drink tap water.
  3. Openness in Culture- One of the first things I noticed is Sweden’s openness. It has welcomed people with all sorts of different views and backgrounds.
  4. The northern lights (we couldn’t see them as it’s summer there).
  5. The midnight sun; Not exactly the midnight sun but the sunset at 10 PM was quite a surprise for me. Sunset, Sweden
  6. Crystal-clear lakes, snow-covered forests (it was summer) were other attractive things about Sweden. Lake, Gothenberg
  7. It was also surprising when I came to know that the groceries would be closed at around 5-6 PM in the evening. It was also because we were not in the city.
  8. Grimeton Radio Station Situated in Varberg, Grimeton Radio station is elisted in UNESCO world heritage site. It was built in 1922 to 1924. The radio station was used for transatlantic radio telegraphy to Long Island, New York. Grimeton Radio Station
  9. Cityscapes and Churches.

Gothenberg, Church Gothenberg City

4. International Youth Media Summit kicked off…

After the arrival of all the delegates, the 12th International Youth Media Summit officially kicked off. An amazing performance by True Veins was the major highlight of the opening ceremony.

International Youth Media Summit
True Veins: https://www.facebook.com/trueveins

5. Presentations

Good moments are captured in the forms of writing, photographs among other means of art whereas the best moments are just watched, felt, witnessed or experienced. Same thing happened when we listened to the heart wrenching stories that we couldn’t resist pouring our emotions through tears. Also, we smiled and extracted courage through their stories of struggles and at the end; we made ourselves more courageous, stronger and a better person than before. Babar’s movie, War zone and conflict related journalism by Blankspot, Mohamed Sidibay’s journey from a child soldier in Sierra Leone to being an activist (more of his story here; http://www.iyms.org/news/2017/5/13/mohamed-sidibay-featured-speaker-and-our-global-ambassador), Robin’s life story, Kyo’s presentation about Poverty, Jasper and Rashmita’s presentation, Marija’s project; In search of the lost country, Geneva’s project, Shafaqh and Iskmat’s stories are all deeply engraved within me.

 6. Birthday celebrations

It’s your birthday! In the middle of the formal ceremony, everybody starts singing you a birthday song; not just in English but in more than 15 languages. That’s what happened during the opening ceremony. Birthday Celebration, IYMS I was fortunate enough to be one of those birthday people during the IYMS days. Their surprised, euphoric and contented faces were something to cherish for all us there. Maybe same was during my birthday too 😉 Birthday, IYMS

7. Bonding

We would appreciate others; regardless of language barrier and any other hindrances. We have those amazingly precious 14 days of our life which we would cherish for lifetime. We spoke the language of love and art was the medium to connect all of us there; film-making as a tool. Through the involvement in 7 different issue groups or as organizers or as technical team, the end goal was same; spreading love and positivity around. IYMS Family The late night conversations, social time, dance parties, celebrations, photoshoots were all giving platforms for us to have stronger bond among us.

8. PSAs

Young and passionate people were pouring their energies into creating beautiful piece of visual arts. They were so much into their dream project regardless of time duration they were into. I was surprised seeing them sleepless during the night time and still fresh in the morning when we’d gather for the daily meeting. Filming, IYMS They were found actively emerged into vicious circle of positive energy cycle. They couldn’t escape from the circle but surrender and dive more deeply into it. Isn’t it divine feeling? Filming, IYMS Another great news of achievement and success from last year’s IYMS held in Kathmandu, Nepal. Guess what?

Our 2016 PSA on violence entitled “The True Impact”, won the international Yellow flag award for promoting non-violence at the FourRiver FilmFest in Karlovac, Croatia!

The True Impact“, PSA of the issue violence made in International Youth Media Summit -2016, Kathmandu, Nepal has also been selected for the PLURAL+ 2017 Special Award for the Prevention of Xenophobia. Moment of Ecstasy!!! Congratulations to the whole team! Here’s the link to the PSA:

And have you already checked the PSAs from the 12th Internatinal Youth Media Summit-2017, Sweden? If not, check them out;

 Do let us know what do you think of them? We’ll surely keep your suggestions and feedbacks into the considerations.

9. Farewell

How I miss everything about IYMS. The fika breaks, everyday gathering at film house, Youth Committee meeting, ferry ride to Gothenberg, indoor football, photowalks during the break time, cycling to the lake, tour to the beach, everyone asking the Wifi username and password and the most important of all; a feeling of contentment within.

Thank you everyone!!!

I am truly grateful to each and everyone for those wonderful moments you have given.

International Youth Media Summit
And that was the end!!

Find International Youth Media Summit (IYMS) and get connected with us on social media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iyms.org/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iyms_org/ Website: https://www.iyms.org/ In the end; here’s a video portraying the happy faces of delegates and all the participants of the summit-2017.

In the month of October, 2017 we’re one of the causes competing in Kind Causes Foundation’s monthly competition. We’re also able to win the competition. To find more about it: https://www.kindsnacks.com/foundation/causes/

What about 13th IYMS-2018 ?

The 13th International Youth Media Summit-2018 is going to be held in Sydney, Australia. Until then, each country delegation will be actively involved in various side projects such as A day in the life (http://www.iyms.org/day/), mini summits (http://www.iyms.org/minisummits/) and screening of PSAs across the nations. This way, we aim to reach as much as youth as we can and also continue to pursue objectives of IYMS throughout the year. I am one of the participants of “A Day In The Life”; a side project of IYMS and until now I’ve made five videos. Here they are; 

And the theme for the 13th IYMS to be held in Sydney, Australia starting from 27th July until 9th August, 2018 is; “Learning to walk in their shoes; the global migrant crisis!”.

About the author

I come from the land of Gurkhas; the brave soldiers who fought tirelessly and didn’t let any countries rule Nepal. Because of those Gorkhalis, the Nepalese are proud to call “Nepal has always been an independent nation so far.” Nepalese Flag is the world’s only non-quadrilateral national flag; red color symbolizing the bravery and blue symbolizes peace and harmony. What a proud thing. Also, Nepal was the Hindu Kingdom in the past and now a secular state welcoming people from all the religions. Nepal is a country of living heritages and Kathmandu a city of temples. All in all, Nepal is a country with Unity in Diversity. Thank you for reading the boring random shits. These things don’t relate to me in any way. And those are not the things that describe me. If I introduce myself with the common voices of any nationality, group or community, it’s nothing but sheer stupidity. A part of it can be a shared introduction but not fully. So who am I? I don’t know who I am. It’s been years of SEARCH but nothing has been excavated yet. And also, I am not the right person to describe who I am. It's you who know me and whatever I say about me makes no sense. You tell me who I am ;)
2 Responses
  1. Evelyn M Seubert

    Manoj! What a beautiful tribute to the power of love and art – and Fika!! Your words as always lift me up, bring tears to my eyes (one minute) and make me laugh another. You have captured the experience for everyone who wasn’t with us – but wants to know what IYMS is really like. Thank you!

    1. Manoj

      Thank you so much Evelyn! Like I said before you know where I extract my energy from 😉
      I am glad that you could relate with my writing and it brought emotions too.

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