Left to right: Bryan Shickley (16, Big Picture High School in SeaTac), Thien Vo (16, Evergreen HS), and Liban Mohamud (16, Chief Sealth HS) won the MOHAI History Award for the best overall film with “History is Repetition.”
Fusing art with technology, Delridge Community Center teens clean house at MOHAI film competition
On May 11, the Museum of History and Industry announced the winners of their 2012 History Is _____ Film Competition, and teen interns with the RecTech program at Delridge Community Center walked away with several awards, including the top prize.
RecTech is a City of Seattle program that “works to bridge the digital divide, providing technology access, training and opportunities for personal and career development where the need is greatest,” according to their website. Community Technology Centers across south and central Seattle (including Delridge) offer technology training across the spectrum, for all ages.
An eclectic group of teens from several area high schools meet up every Thursday at the Delridge Computer Lab after school, and one of their projects this year was the MOHAI short film competition. They had 24 hours to come up with an idea and create a video with the open-ended prompt: History is ______ (fill in the blank).
The students were broken up into teams of two to three and worked feverishly over the 24 hour span to create their stories … and the work paid off.
Bryan Shickley (16, Big Picture High School in SeaTac), Thien Vo (16, Evergreen HS), and Liban Mohamud (16, Chief Sealth HS) won the MOHAI History Award for the best overall film with “History is Repetition” (see the YouTube video above), an animated film about the less-than-desirable acts humans tend to repeat. They split a $1,000 cash prize and beat out more than two dozen entries from other youth and adult filmmakers.
On May 31, Vo said repetition “is really natural when you think of history,” and “we all thought of ideas where we see repetition,” including colonization, which is a prominent theme in their film.
As for her share of the cash prize, Vo said she took her family out to dinner and saved the rest for a rainy day. Once she gets done with high school, Vo hopes to go to college and major in business.
Youth Category winners
Samira Hussein (17, Chief Sealth HS) and Hibo Mohamad (17, West Seattle HS) took the award for Best Youth Group Project with their film, “History is Invention,” a film about how inventions drive human history, using the skateboard as an example.
Hussein said she wants to be a professional skateboarder and a doctor in her adult life (“I feel like they make a good match because if I’m skating and I get hurt, I can be my own doctor”), and she split her cash winnings of $500 with Mohamad. Hussein is saving most of her money for college, and putting a little aside to make her own skateboard.
Hussein and Mohamad’s video can be viewed on the MOHAI YouTube channel.
“It’s a fun way to spend your time while getting educated, instead of just goofing around,” Hussein said of the RecTech program.
Issa Mohamed (15, West Seattle HS), Evan Williams (Franklin HS) and Sterling Espinoza (16) won an honorable mention in the Youth Category for their film, “History is Basketball.”
“We created a video about the basketball experiences in Seattle, having to do with the Sonics and all that,” Espinoza said. Williams and Mohamed are avid basketball players and talk about how the game has changed their lives in the film.
You can view their video here.
Leslie Howle, RecTech teacher at the Delridge Community Center, said the MOHAI film competition was a fun aside to their usual work: creating videos and PSAs for various non-profits and art programs. Students accepted into the program are called interns, and make a modest salary for their time.
“We are trying to inspire in them the idea that there are careers and job options that involve technology,” Howle said of her work with RecTech teens. “A lot of the kids who come in here would never in a million years think of themselves as capable of achieving what they actually achieve.”
RecTech also has an 8-week summer internship where the kids make $599 (for the entire program) working 16 hours a week.