This summer, Haitian-American documentary filmmaker Emmanuel Alexandre Jr. spent his days leading a 5-day filmmaking workshop for 30 teens and young adults in the Dominican Republicʼs sugarcane fields of Batey 106.
The workshops featured lessons in the basics of filmmaking, image gathering, composition, visual storytelling and interview set up.
“Batey life is something that is very mysterious to a lot of Haitians,” Alexandre said. Bateys are rural communities that arose from the sugarcane industry. I knew about the hardships, the struggles Haitians had in the Dominican Republic this was an opportunity to help and see what really goes on in the Batey, he said.
Alongside Monica Watkins and Theo Dora of Art in Motion, Alexandre put together the Batey 106 project, which includes expanded programs in music, filmmaking and art.
“With this project we hope to inspire and empower theses kids to create change in their communities through the arts,” Alexandre said. Batey 106 Projectʼs goal is to empower the children, teens and young adults of Batey 106 using the arts, music, fashion, photography and filmmaking as a tool to cultivate creativity.