WHAT IS SOLIDARILABS?
WHAT IS SOLIDARILABS?
In 2016 Skylight initiated the SolidariLabs program in Colombia as a relational (non-transactional) space to foster bonds of trust, understanding and collaboration between filmmakers/artists and human rights and environmental defenders. The development of projects by lab participants, the transactional piece, is an ongoing process that comes after the relationship bonds have been established at the initial 5-day lab. The initial SolidariLabs was followed by SolidariLabs Guatemala (2018), SolidariLabs Mexico (2019) and SolidariLabs AfroColombia (2020) forming a transnational network of filmmakers/artists and defenders working together in creative storytelling collaborations. We are now organizing a SolidariLabs Peru in March 2023, thereby expanding a transnational network that will reach from Mexico through Central America and Colombia to Peru.
Our political and economic systems are failing us and polarizing us, exacerbating the crises facing humanity. We need new narratives that will counter corporate and state narratives intended to undermine and marginalize the human rights and environmental defenders that lead the struggles to build a sustainable model for life on our planet. In response to that need, over the past 30 years Skylight has developed the model of a human rights media ecosystem, which we are now disseminating through the SolidariLabs program. A human rights media ecosystem harnesses a range of mutually reinforcing content delivery platforms around an issue (theatrical, community and academic screenings, TV broadcasts, online streaming, mobile apps, social media, community radio, interactive websites, data visualization), that in concert create a foundational narrative for social change.
We believe that artistic narratives can be a powerful catalyst to shift cultural perceptions and pave the way for social change. Artists and activists together can shape culture, but too often work in isolation from each other. SolidariLabs provides the space for those who influence culture and lead struggles for social change to bond in solidarity for the transformation we need.
They include well structured lectures and workshops that share the Skylight model and best practices for collaborations between independent storytellers and movement actors to create bonds of solidarity that deepen the creative process.
An ignite talk is a presentation format in which speakers have five minutes to talk on a subject accompanied by 20 slides. Participants and organizations can prepare an ignite talk describing their work and its impact, or perhaps what it is they are aiming to do.
Mentors from each SolidariLabs offer advice and support to solve problems or advance projects.
Participants articulate creative experiments to achieve social change that could be set in motion after SolidariLabs.
A set of creative constraints aimed at building teams in a way that participants get to know each other's strengths and weaknesses will structure these “Design Sessions” where participants must work together to creatively address a challenge.
Participants support each other to solve problems or advance projects that would benefit from the different knowledge offered by each participant.
SolidariLabs has no registration fee and is only open to residents of the host country. In order to assure diversity, equity and inclusion, the cost of travel, lodging, and meals of participants are all covered by SolidariLabs.