The stay at TanjaZoom is the award of the jury of BcnZoom, a festival of social short films made jointly by the Casal dels Infants and the Consell de Joventut de Barcelona. The BcnZoom awarded the short film
Un Instant
realized within the framework of Ciutat Esperança, an elParlante project in collaboration with the Community Plan of Ciutat Meridiana and the support of the Department of Community Action of the Barcelona City Council.

The group has enjoyed five days in the Moroccan city in a festive, social and youth atmosphere. There has been time for everything, in addition to discovering Tangier we have participated in TanjaZoom. A social short film festival that highlights the educational, social and cultural work carried out by youth associations in the Beni Makada neighborhood.

During the mornings we had the opportunity to attend the workshops organized by Tanjazoom: scriptwriting for documentaries, creating soundtrack music, and animation. The latter has had the dynamization of the elParlante group and the Community Plan of Ciutat Meridiana performing games of Theater of the Oppressed, as well as the Agrupació Escolta Can Baró (the other winning entity of the BcnZoom) also energizing the mornings sharing a time of games and fun.

After sharing lunches with the Tanjazoom organization and the group of young people and teenagers participating in the festival, we went to the Cinémathèque de Tangier (Cinema Rif) to see the social short films that dealt with topics such as gender violence and bullying.

On this trip we have lived many important moments for the group but it is worth highlighting one of them in particular, when we arrived in Tangier the people in charge of the TanjaZoom festival announced that we could not present the short film “Un Instant” because it had not obtained the cultural visa. The news saddened us a lot at the time but quickly the group knew how to fit it and did not stop us from enjoying this fantastic experience. To understand the situation and not to express prejudices, it is necessary that we know well the political context of the country. The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, is also the head of state and prime minister of the country. The Department of Culture must approve all audiovisual works broadcast in cinema and television, once they receive approval they are stamped with what is called a “cultural visa”. Our story didn’t pass that filter and we couldn’t present it. The fact that they cannot broadcast explicit scenes where two people are seen kissing or having sex in movies and series was one of the main reasons why we did not have the cultural visa. Despite the initial disappointment and the fact that from our vision at first it was difficult for us to understand the situation, chatting with people who know this reality closely in Morocco we broadened our gaze and understood that the social, political and cultural context was that one and we had to adapt to the system of norms and values there. We want to make it clear that the decision was made by the Government and not by the organization of the Tanjazoom Festival and even less by the Youth Council of Barcelona, who from the first moment showed us their support and affection.

One of the main struggles of elParlante is to break with stereotypes and prejudices, especially those related to cultural diversity, so we want to ask for the utmost respect for the values of Moroccan society and especially for all the people of the local organization who welcomed us so well and who have a great social task of youth participation to raise awareness about their environment expressing their reality through of audiovisual, essence shared with us.

From Ciutat Esperança we want to thank the Casal dels Infants and the Consell de Joventut de Barcelona for the opportunity they have given us to participate in this fantastic experience.

And we take advantage of this blog to share that we feel very privileged to have a group of young people like the one from Ciutat Meridiana, thank you for adapting to circumstances, for your love and enthusiasm in everything we do, and for your strength and infinite energy, from which it radiates and infects.

Photograph taken by the Tanjazoom Festival.

Photograph taken by the Tanjazoom Festival.