Himalayan Youth Voices Project at CAAM

Himalayan Youth Voice Project

In partnership with TILT, Ninth Street Media Center and Sahayeta


(Team Soccer poses for a group picture during one of their shoots in SOMA. From left: Sophiya, Anjan, Neha, Pratima, Swornim, Pratik, Biswa, and Anubhav.)

The Himalayan (Bhutanese, Nepalese & Tibetan) community in the Bay area and nationally has been growing but there isn’t much visibility or authentic representations of these groups in the media. To counter that scarcity of images by and about the Himalayan community, CAAM started the Himalayan Youth Voices Project in partnership with grassroots organization Sahayeta and funding from the Asian Pacific Fund.

The Project’s goal is to engage a growing but often invisible segment of the Asian American community in the bay area and to give youth media makers access to the tools that enable them to tell their own stories. The Himalayan youth participate in a ten-week workshop with CAAM and the youth media experts at TILT (Teaching Intermedia Literacy Tools).


(Team Momo shooting a scene from their group project about the origins of the Himalayan dumpling delicacy the momo. From left: Dechen doing sound (back to camera), TILT Instructor Pio, Tenzin, Jain, and (back to camera, bottom right) Deo Maya doing camera.)

CAAM and Sahayeta conducted a media literacy workshop at the first Himalayan Youth Summit in Oakland this past August and with their help recruited 16 youth participants for the full media workshop.

The workshops started at the end of September and we are now more than half way into the course. The youth participants have been learning professional camera and editing skills as well as using Flip cameras to help them find their own voice and become more familiar with creating their own media.


(Team Soccer shooting a scene from their project about the state of Nepal’s soccer team and the significance of the media’s role: From left: Sophiya, Pratik & Biswa.)

At the end of the workshop, there will be a community screening event where the media makers will showcase and talk about their work to their family and friends. Ultimately, the group projects and hopefully some of the Flip videos created during the workshop will be screened at CAAM’s San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF).


(Team Soccer setting up a scene and working around the obstacles of shooting outdoors. From left: (Back to camera) Pratima, Swornim on camera, (back to the camera) Anjan, and Sophiya on sound.)

It’s been a pleasure working with this group of youth and we’d like to introduce the participants and showcase some of their video work. We plan to upload new content every other week on CAAM’s website. We hope to engage the larger Himalayan community, connect to the greater Asian American and other communities nationally.


(Team Momo learns the value of patience as they shoot their momo eating scene over and over. From left Deo Maya doing sound, Jyoti, Tenzin, Jain and Pio.)

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