Video letter from Nova Holanda: Trailer by Christoffer Naess and Alejandro Alvarez

A video letter is a concept where youth can make their own film about their lives in their particular community, village or city.

 In this way one gets an in-depth, real life perspective that is often overlooked or ignored by mainstream media. Video letters are made through a series of workshops where youth are taught basic film production and journalism. The different aspects that the youth present in the video letters touch human rights for children as they are declared by UNICEF in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). It is a relatively accessible process where all you need is a few flip cameras, a computer with Internet access and an interest in creating a youth media after-school workshop.

This trailer is for a video letter from Nova Holanda in Complexo da Mare, Rio de Janeiro. International Affairs and Media Studies students from the New School in New York City created an 8 week workshop for 10 children in Nova Holanda in cooperation with PUC University of Rio de Janeiro. This workshop was intended to provide visual inclusion to the kids from Nova Holanda as well as teaching critical awareness through the use of youth media. It was made by New School MA students Christoffer Naess, J. Alejandro Alvarez, Joel Malebranche, Nadia Claudi, Fabio Cascardo and Teresa Brunie during the 2009 International Field Program in Rio de Janiero. The trailer and letter were produced with the assistance of Ahmet C. Sibdial Sau.

Christoffer Naess is  currently also a workshop leader for a digital media and storytelling project, Scandinavian Stories. Read an interview with Christoffer to learn more about cultural identity and digital storytelling.

To learn more about this project or other video letters,  contact Christoffer Naess:


Watch the trailer for the video letter


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