Turning Tables aims to utilize creative communication through film to amplify the voices of at-risk youth on local, national and international levels. Individual and collective expression through film is done by empowerment through the combination of technical skills and the provision of a creative space for critical self-reflection and trauma-processing. Learning to make film and creative storytelling provides a channel for communication and outlet to facilitate dialogue between the participants on cultural denominators and emphasize positive attributes including shared social values related to freedom of speech. Thus, the goal is to channel frustration regarding grievances into joint narratives that can strengthen the social fabric between disenfranchised refugees and local communities and build their global capacity as credible messengers.
Turning Tables has established film production hubs from where local teams operate pop-up film schools and mobile 0% energy container studios around Jordan Lebanon. Trainings focus on building trust between the instructors and the trainees through dialogue, film screenings and multiple practical film exercises. The film trainings combine theory and practical exercises about storytelling and filmmaking. Trial and error is always at the center of the training in order to familiarize the participants with the equipment and discipline of filmmaking. The established methodology developed by Turning Tables will be the guideline and adopted to the context consisting primarily of Arabic speaking examples and documentaries interweaved with practical storytelling. Based on training in storytelling and information distortion, youth participants are challenged to translate their practical and theoretical training into collectively produced short documentaries or fiction. The participants proceed to manuscript, film and edit their films supported closely by the instructors.