SOULAJU spent some time in Trinidad, CO in May and June working with a group of young people connected to a criminal justice “Diversion” program. Good kids, smart and conscious of their surroundings, who got in some minor trouble and luckily evaded more serious problems like juvenile incarceration. These youth meet weekly and have to satisfy a number of requirements to complete the diversion program, including weekly meetings and community service. We had worked with Tony Diego, the diversion program director, on other youth programs through an organization called OYE (Organized Youth for Empowerment). He had an idea for a youth video project with flip cams. We had limited time and funding was also limited, but this is what we came up with after a few trips down to Trinidad: a documentary about youth culture in Trinidad, Colorado:
Our main goals in working with these young people were to empower them to tell their own stories and engage in a process of creating their own media. Before we put cameras in their hands we ran some workshops with them, talking about their experiences, identity, their dreams, life beyond Trinidad, getting them writing their thoughts on paper. The following video is a “making of” look at our work with this group of youth.
The Making of “Trinidad Undaground”