I am extremely proud to share with you my journey as a mentor for the British Council 'Valuing Voices' Social Media Masterclass. To be quite honest, I applied for the workshop wanting to learn more about analyzing social media stats but I got so much more.
We are in the digital age and part of my job is take my client's message and dwindle it down to bite size information for SM comsumption and most importantly it's the numbers and data behind your social media footprint that helps sell your message, this workshop connected me with a group of likeminded people who are passionate about using social media to advocate their messages.
Ruici Tio of 'Love Frankie' one of our facilitators
Creative arts makes my soul happy and looking for ways to advocate art appreciation and how to help young Fijians access this. In Fiji (and most of the world) the arts takes the 'back bench' funds are being cut from programs and here in Fiji our local curriculum struggles to give our kids access to this when our country is a melting pot of cultural art whether its in our indigenous motifs, mat making, meke's (traditional dance) visual and spoken art.
But we are up against the stereotype of 'white collar' jobs pay the bills therefore you must get yourself a 'white collar' job. I've heard horror stories of young adults trying to break out from the mould and practice and hone their craft only to be knocked back by parents through threats and guilt to leave the 'dream' and settle for the 'office job' but then I hear the triumphant stories of artists saying 'No, I'm going to do this' and they finally make their career a reality.
Post presentation - Ruici, me and Michael Sivendra of British Council
And yes the perception of the 'starving artist' is still very much alive but for Fiji we are never going to progress our creative arts industry if we're not teaching the kids to appreciate art, it has to start in our classrooms.
So, my campaign centered around capturing stories of successful Fijian creative artists, we did this through video interviews and the offline component was a survey carried out in Nadi, Lautoka and Suva of 200+ high school students, youth and parents. You can check out the website here
With my fellow mentors
As a mentor, I had to present my campaign to the participants along with 7 other mentors, the participants would then have to choose which campaign they would commit to and help run for 8 weeks.
The stories we captured and the findings over that 8 week period was an eye opener, I cried, I sweat and I think I bled a bit after falling down while shooting at a kid's birthday party (only time one of the artists had available for interview) but my all girls team did it and we presented a well thought out campaign which led to me attending the Social Enterprise World Forum in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Surround yourself with people who are passionate about the same things as you and wonderful things happen.