Logline: A day in the life of a young refugee in Australia - the music video.
Genre: Music video
Current Status: Online
Executive Producer: YMCA WA
Producer: Poppy van Oorde-Grainger
Directors: Poppy van Oorde-Grainger and Mat de Koning
DOP: Mat de Koning
Music Facilitator: Scott Griffiths
Dance Facilitator: Jeremy Jongsma
About: Poppy van Oorde-Grainger is an Australian filmmaker and artist who specialises in collaborating with communities. Her work has been shown around the world in galleries, festivals and on television. www.poppyvog.com
Looking for: Media interest
Funders: Department of Culture and the Arts, Young People and the Arts Program and Healthway to promote the Drug Aware message
Congratulations! Why did you make this music video?
I was running YMCA Western Australia’s Drug Aware Open Arts program at the time, which aimed to create dynamic contemporary art while fostering young peoples’ wellbeing, self-esteem and sense of belonging. YMCA had a long-standing partnership with Aranmore Catholic College and that year the school was keen for us to work with their Intensive English Centre students.
How did you collaborate with both the students and the funders?
The first step was asking the students what they wanted to make and once we’d settled on a music video, applying for funding took about six months. In the end, sixty students worked on the video collaborating with a dancer, musician and two filmmakers over six months.
First we had a drama workshop to choose the theme, freedom, and then collectively the group created the beats, melody and chorus. Two students wrote the verses in their own languages, Dinka and Farsi and other students helped to translate them so we could have English subtitles.
For the video we chose locations where the young people felt free i.e. home, school, the beach and on the soccer pitch. We made a giant football table with each of the students represented by a player they’d made from laser-cut aluminum and vinyl prints. Then everyone screen-printed their own soccer shirts and we were ready to shoot.
See the behind the scenes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Kw5wIPtOCc
You have submitted two other music videos. Do you see continuities and differences between these three music videos?
My Culture My Land (MCML) was also made through YMCA WA and yes, it had a very similar process to Leave My Home. Scott Griffiths facilitated both songs and I produced and co-directed both clips. They are also both about the connection young people feel with their country and their culture. The biggest difference though was that we shot MCML in Carnarvon so we had access to really extraordinary locations like the Blowholes!
In contrast, War and Porn, made for electro pop group Joni in the Moon had a much more traditional process. The singer, Joni, wanted to make a video about the helpless feeling she had watching global atrocities reported on the news. Joni and I developed the concept together and then I wrote a treatment and found a DOP, gaffer, AC, data-wrangler, animator, editor and grader to collaborate with.
What type of feedback have you received so far about Leave My Home?
The best feedback was in France. When I was living there, I met a lot of Sudanese and Afghani refugees and it was awesome to show them a song by young people living in Australia singing in Dinka (South Sudanese language) and Farsi (Afghani language). It instantly broke the ice and made everyone laugh and smile and ask lots of questions.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The process challenged me more than the feedback. Making Leave My Home introduced me to so many cultures I knew nothing about like Dinka, Hazara and Chin. I felt like I was travelling to dozens of countries within the one classroom and it really taught me a lot.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify the message of this music video?
Buyers, distributors, film festival directors and journalists.
What type of impact would you like this music video to have?
An external evaluator interviewed and surveyed participants who reported that the project made them feel happy, relaxed and free. They said it helped them develop relationships with their peers and by showing the work in public they felt it could help them “be understood” in the community.
The impact of this and other Open Arts projects are evaluated in this report: https://issuu.com/ymcaopenarts/docs/11._layout__report__ymca