My Films

Friday, August 31, 2007

Getting focused on my thesis

Hi, so the time has come for me to get serious about my thesis. At the end of the last school year, I had narrowed my interests down to three areas:

1. The Buddhist practice of compassionate listening- After my trip to Vietnam and writing two papers on Buddhism and its relationship to peace, I have fallen deeply in love with the philosophy/religion. While, I don't think I will ever call myself a Buddhist, I do believe that Buddhism offers much wisdom for creating peace in oneself and with the world.
So my thesis idea was to look at the practice of compassionate listening and see the value of it as a conflict resolution tool. There is a Seattle based organization, the Compassionate Listening Project that is doing this work and in particular in Israel/Palestine. My research idea on this was to asses the effectiveness of this practice as a conflict resolution tool.

2. Article 9. I am planning to make a film on the peace movement to protect Article 9 anyways, so why not write a thesis on it? This way for the next year I can be one-pointed focused. However, how would I do this? What angle would my thesis take? I have to be honest I'm not interested in writing about the possible geo-political implications if Article 9 is revoked. I am just not political minded enough to do such a paper. I also am far more passionate about the people, and why or why not they care about Article 9.

3. Media and Peace. Now this obviously makes the most sense. This is what I am trying to do with my life. But once again how do you write a thesis on this? One idea I have is to do a case study on organizations that do media trainings in developing countries. One such organization is called Barefoot Workshops. They train youth and women in video skills in Africa focusing on:

  • Empower youth through media, music and the arts
  • Bridge communities together to address global issues
  • Inspire individuals and communities to transform themselves from within
  • Innovate new uses of media to meet development goals internationally (Source:
Assessing the impact that such a workshop has, is do able and would mean traveling to Africa which is just not a bad idea. An upcoming workshop that I would potentially be interested in participating in is in Jan 2008 in South Africa. My only hesitation with this is that I don't necessarily see this as my path and how I will be doing most of my work in the future. However, maybe it is a good place to start and will open doors to new ideas on how media can help create a culture of peace.

Anyways, if you have a suggestions please send me a mail or leave a comment! All help is very much needed and appreciated!