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Camp Ayandeh, Day 3: Media and Imagination

By Arian Jadbabaie,  Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB)

Every day honestly seems like it has more and more energy. On day one, I thought there would be no way we'd be able to consistently keep up this much energy. After day two, I was exhausted by the end of the day, but taken aback by both camper and red shirt liveliness. Day three was absolutely incredible too, and now I'm excited for tomorrow-in all honesty, with the energy everyone has, I think we can even surpass how great today was.

Theater media workshop

And today, in its own right, was amazing. The theme for the day was representation and imagination, and right after breakfast, campers began investigating these ideas. We looked at how Iranians are represented in society-an interesting analogy we used to put media and representation in context was asking the campers to put themselves in the shoes of aliens, discovering human media and representation for the first time. Further, campers were introduced to their mentor-mentee groups-effectively, older counselor groups are paired with younger groups, and both older and younger campers can participate in a fluid learning experience. Using these experiences, tomorrow, campers will begin their "Ayandeh Speaks" projects, where they'll craft how they want to be represented at camp and beyond.

Ask any camper about their favorite activity today, and a lot will probably respond that they really enjoyed their media workshops. These two hour long workshops were an absolute hit among campers, covering all sorts of disciplines-while people in the film workshop analyzed the introduction to The Social Network, hip-hop campers were crafting their own lyrics, and students studying photography staged mock events to photograph.

Building the chain reaction

Then, Camp 2012 made Ayandeh history with our first ever functional Rube Goldberg-like machine. All 90 campers were split into small groups in which, given an assortment of resources (everything from yarn to balloons to Legos), they proceeded to make a "chain reaction". Starting with one falling book, these "chain reactions" were various creative ways of using the energy of one falling book to make another book fall around five feet away. "Chain reactions" consisted of everything from elaborate domino setups to contraptions involving weights or balloons.

To top off the day, everyone at Ayandeh, red shirts and campers gathered together and watched the Iranian film, A Separation. It really was a wonderful sight to see campers and staff together, huddled under blankets, following the plight of the movie's main character, Nader and Simin.


Related Articles:

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About Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) - IAAB is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, non-profit volunteer organization with a young, dedicated staff spread across the United States, Europe and Iran.  The mission of the organization is to address issues of the Iranian diaspora community while raising awareness of the Iranian community, promoting leadership, and connecting Iranians across borders. For more information about IAAB, please visit

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