In a field trip to the Red Museum, the scene of a group of men and women who were sitting next to one another, circling around a television caught my eyes. Each member was saying his/her opinion while others listened attentively.
From looking at their faces, I knew that they are not all from one ethnic group. When we started talking to them, it became even clearer that Kurds, Arabs, and French were members of this group. Doku 5 is a group of filmmakers who all work together on producing documentary films about thought-provoking issues in Iraq.
The word Doku is an abbreviation for Documentary, and the number “5” stands for their fifth project. ARTE television, the C.F.I organization, and Iraqi French Institute help organize and fund the Doku workshops.
They have produced over a dozen short films from their previous four workshops and are well on their way to completing a fifth set of films. Throughout the course of the workshop, participants sharpen their skills with creating a story, filming, sound, and then finally editing their works in Erbil in September. Doku 5 usually shows its works in a number of European film festivals, ending with a show in Paris, France. After the initial festivals the films also appear on the ARTE television channel.
What is interesting and fascinating about this group is that each member has his/her own idea, but in making that idea become a film, all the other members participate and spend time and energy to bring it to life through the use cameras, microphones, and other filmmaking equipment. despite the success of the project there have been some criticisms about the efficiency of funds and the prerequisites of participants to be conversational in French or English.
Group work usually facilitates success in a project, especially when each member of the group shares information, listens to, and more importantly trusts, one another. A Kurdish proverb says “what is hard to be accomplished alone, is easy to achieve when cooperating with one another.” Given the success of the past five Doku workshops, I am hopeful that one day my grandchildren will be writing an article about Doku 100.
Have you been involved in this project? Please feel free to rate this project using the stars below and leave specific comments so that projects like this one can become more meaningful over time.