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Wicked Wales goes to IYMS Sweden

After our successful pilot project in 2021, Our Stories, Our Lives, Our Countries with IYMS, it felt fitting to send some of the team from the project. Our international partner International Youth Media Summit returned with its first physical summit in 2022 in Falkenberg, Sweden. Our organisation sent a few familiar faces to the summit in Dion, Osian and Ffion.

Throughout a fortnight, the challenge was to create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) over seven topics the IYMS wanted to eradicate in the world through diplomacy and film. They are youth empowerment, environment, violence, women's rights, poverty, health and discrimination. Each group were split into young filmmakers, young diplomats and advisors who all worked together to create a short film about their subject matter with the help of their mentor who worked within the assigned fields. By the end of the summit, they would have a completed film that will be shared with international audiences at film festivals, on YouTube and through their partners, including UNESCO.

There are various ways to encourage and embrace heritage, language and culture from Afghanistan to Nepal to Norway. Each day there were numerous opportunities to hear about different nations, how they promote their countries' work, and the best models to exhibit the films. While many have expressed their frustrations about funding and sharing their voices globally, the summit allows you to develop and work on further collaborations beyond the two-week summit.

One of the main reasons Wicked Wales wanted to attend the summit was to engage with more young people. As they were the ones making the films and making positive changes in their communities, it was an enlightening experience. Hearing about the various programs they work on and their viewing habits benefited us as an organisation and for Wales as a whole. The diversity of delegates gave a fresh perspective on what works well for us and where we can improve and further diversity and inclusion in our sector.

The main takeaway from IYMS is the importance of international collaboration and working with organisations to improve our methods and share our practices from Wales. We can learn so much from one another, and Wicked Wales has already begun a dialogue with partners in Sweden and Nepal on how we can collaborate further.

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