Lights, Camera, History!

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This program was a turning point for Lights, Camera, Learn, since we decided to do something that we have never done before, which allowed us to break two LCL - and probably world - records. The first record we broke was by creating our History of Zanzibar movie, while the second was a cultural movie that was made by our local interns in Swahili. Both projects were new and experimental, which is why they came with their own challenges, and allowed us to grow and learn as an organization.

History is written by the victors
— Unknown
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The history film taught us that teaching history is hard, due to the fact that there are always two sides to the story. Since our English speaking team only became proficient in Swahili after leaving Zanzibar, we had to learn how to give the locals their own platform to freely express the history of their own land. With the help of local historical experts, we were able to responsibly spread the knowledge of this beautiful island so that it can help anyone who is trying to learn.

We suggest the most logical thing to do is: first, watch our trailer to get excited, then watch the full movie to actually learn! Afterwards, you should watch the bloopers to see how much fun the team had.

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Finally, you should wrap up your Zanzibar experience by watching our Behind the Scenes to feel as though you spent your last moments of 2018 on a tropical island with us.

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After being fully immersed in the Zanzibar online experience, you can watch out for the launch of our new merchandise to purchase and wear in order to solidify your place with our family, and maybe even sign up to be part of our team for next summer.

As for our other film, Asli ya Kidichi, it tells the story of a man who wanted to marry a woman and you’ll understand more by watching the film. None of the leadership team spoke Swahili, and since there is no film school in Zanzibar, none of our local interns had ever made a film before. Yet, here we are with our very first movie in Swahili! It also reminded us that making a movie is hard, awkward, and hilarious, whether you’re doing it in a language you speak or in a language you don’t speak, the results - and the bloopers - are very similar.

Currently, all the documentaries found on YouTube that discuss the history of Zanzibar are not kid-friendly, nor are they done by locals, which is why we feel proud presenting this film. That’s why this trip was so special because we tried new things and we realised the importance of creating online edutainment content that can be used as supplementary course material for teachers around the world, which allowed us to find our niche. Now we know we have found a great way to teach history to kids, by not only having them act it out, but by also giving them their own platform to tell the world about what the history of their land is.

Currently, all the documentaries found on YouTube that discuss the history of Zanzibar are not kid-friendly, nor are they done by locals, which is why we feel proud presenting this film. That’s why this trip was so special because we tried new things and we realised the importance of creating online edutainment content that can be used as supplementary course material for teachers around the world, which allowed us to find our niche. Now we know we have found a great way to teach history to kids, by not only having them act it out, but by also giving them their own platform to tell the world about what the history of their land is.

Classrooms can look like cinema rooms sometimes.
— Amal Bahloul

“When I took out my laptop, which had 50 movies that Lights, Camera, Learn produced in our previous programs, the kids couldn’t look away. It started off with just one film, and then I figured they would want to play games, but when we were done with all the films we made in Palestine, and after I answered their questions about the kids over there, they wanted to watch the movies we made in Tunis, and then Paris, and Sharjah, and Sevilla. They were so curious, and they loved watching the bloopers because they remembered how they made mistakes while they were filming. During this time, we managed to finish up our last scenes, and all the stars were huddled around the screen, listening, learning, and relating to kids from around the world. It was a special moment for me knowing that soon kids from around the world will watch these kids teaching them about the History of Zanzibar, in a way that a lecture simply can’t.” - Amal Bahloul.

LCL hopes that education will remain fun, exciting and fills you with Hakuna Matata.