Aims & Objectives
i. To provide the members with the space and equipment.
ii. As a deliberate space for building skills of youth in media production and to amplify youth voice and expression.
Why Build a “Media Lab”?
1. We Believe in Bhutan’s Youth.
At the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy (BCMD), one of our core aims is to engage young people in using digital media as a way to actively participate in the world around them.
Through our past events and workshops, we have connected with many young people who have made films, taken photographs, and produced school newspapers in order to inspire dialogue and change on the challenges confronting Bhutanese society. Bhutanese youth have an abundance of creative and compassionate energy, and we want to harness that so that they can realize their potentials as active and responsible citizens in Bhutan’s democracy.
2. Young People Need Access to 21st Century Learning Tools.
Essential to enabling young people to do this is giving them consistent access to technology. After conducting a series of needs assessments and focus groups, we found that the majority of youth in Thimphu lack access to basic technology – primarily still cameras, video cameras, computers, creative software (e.g. Photoshop, Moviemaker, etc.), and printers. Without these tools, young people cannot follow up and sustain their creative interests that begin during our workshops.
3. Youth are the Future of Bhutan’s Democracy.
Since Bhutan’s transition to democracy in 2008, Bhutanese youth – comprising 59% of the country’s population – have been excluded from the democratic process. Media rarely cover positive youth stories; youth are left out of policy-making consultation; and have few outlets to voice their opinions in schools or in the community. Outside of school, there are few facilities for youth to pursue learning and to stay engaged. This has contributed to a rise in gang formation, drug abuse and violence in urban areas. The future of the world’s youngest democracy depends on our ability to listen to youth, provide opportunities for them to express themselves, and to engage them as citizens.