An experience that opened my mind to what my future could be
Ina contacted Roots Interns looking for an NGO internship opportunity. Ideally, something where she could use her Motion Design (graphics, animation, design) skills. She is a South African but grew up in the Kingdom of eSwatini, known as Swaziland until April 2018. Currently, she lives in the United States, studying at Ringling College of Art and Design. Doing an internship is part of her studies. We organized a placement for her with environmental nonprofit Greenpop as a Media and Videography Intern. In this blog post, she shares her experience with us.
Preparing for my Media and Videography Internship
When I think of my internship at Greenpop, I must compare the emotions of my first day in office with the emotions I am experiencing on the last day sitting at my desk. The first day I came in, I had no idea what to expect. I had a vague idea of being a media intern. I would film at a festival and make some stuff to be posted online. That’s where my knowledge ended.
I had tried to make sure I knew the philosophy of the areas I was to be involved in. However, scrolling through the Greenpop page with a nervous gut doesn’t really prepare you for the warm and strange Greenpop family. It took me a few moments to ignore my self-consciousness to process some of the fun and interesting aspects of their office. I only spent a small amount of time there. The majority of my internship was spent at the Eden Festival of Action. Still, it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life and created memories that will stay with me.
Videography Intern for a Cause close to my Heart
I have practical skills as an animator, amateur documentary filmmaker, and graphic designer. Therefore, I could have easily ended up in a studio, somewhere in the United States. But that was never good enough for me. I wanted to have experience in my home country South Africa, but I would never be satisfied working in your typical office environment doing commercial work. It had to be different, preferably close to my heart. Greenpop allowed me to do both.
In the office of this environmental organization, I was ecstatic to see the gas stoves tops, the vast array of reusable mugs and tote bags for those spontaneous trips to the city centre, the compost and recycling bins and the sweaty faces of my colleagues after climbing three flights of stairs because they didn’t want to use electricity that the elevator would require. Still, my time in the office was short. We quickly left for the forests at the Garden Route for the Eden Festival of Action.
Filming, Editing, (Motion) Designing at the Festival of Action
I accompanied the team to the Eden area and filmed as much as I could of the festival. This meant I lived with the team for five weeks. I filmed and collected clips to be used in the future. Apart from this, I was assigned a series of videos to create motion graphics for. I also edited Instagram advertisements for the 2019 festival. It was a huge challenge as I was often starting a film day blind. I was doing the job of a whole crew. But over the five weeks, I learned how to manage expectations and my own time.
The five weeks flew by in a whirlwind of emotions, laughter, dancing, and digging. By the time we had to leave we were all shocked, our departure came so quickly! It was inspiring to see so many curious, eager minds coming together and working hard with a passion. We don’t see that often in today’s passive world. When we were tired and drained from an intense day of environmentalism, we were strolling in the luscious green forests of the festival site or get active at a plant day.
As the festival’s videography intern, I feel very privileged to have been able to witness almost every event. I relive those experiences as I am editing promotional materials. They will hopefully help Greenpop to get people excited for next year’s Festival of Action. Leaving Eden turned out to be very difficult. I met beautiful, kind and unique people there. They started out as a team but felt like family at the end. Being thrust into the vibrant city life of Cape Town felt like a second, yet pleasant, culture shock.
Ina’s video about the Festival of Action 2018. Well done!!
A typical office day did not exist
So, I can say that I am leaving my Media and Videography Internship without ever experiencing a typical office day. From huge team lunches at the Cape town office, where everyone has to take a turn to cook for everyone else to the meetings at 6.45am at the festival that usually involves our Tree-EO playing some variation of Bob Marley’s ‘Is this love’ loudly while forcing us to dance to wake up our minds and bodies.
Some days were long while others seemed so calm and almost ethereal. Those who were supervising me and advising treated me with such patience and kindness that it feels like I have been spoiled to some degree. It was hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm of the team, which often helped to keep me going on days with long hours of filming. I am proudest of what I have learned and how I have changed. The final videos are something I am also proud of, but I am more impacted but how this experience had opened my mind to what my future could be.
And have a look at other short videos for week 1 and week 2 of the Eden Festival of Action on Facebook.
The Greenpop Festival of Action 2019 takes place in the Eden District, South Africa in June/July. Over three weeks people from around the globe will plant trees, rehabilitate ecosystems, and clear alien vegetation. They also build using eco-methods, set up recycling systems, paint eco murals, and attend sustainability workshops. And, of course, they celebrate with live music and more. It’s an adventure for active citizens who want to change their world. The first two weeks are specifically for high school students. The third and last week is open to participants of all ages. Interested? Drop us an email and we will add you to the mailing list to receive all information about the June/July 2019 edition as soon as that has been released.