The Benčić Youth Council held their eighth convening, Pen in Hand, at their new ongoing home at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s location on Križanićeva Street. As the Council is in the process of creating a website and its members will soon be writing about their activities, this session focused on developing skills and techniques for journalism, interviewing, and writing. The development of the Children’s House at the Benčić complex (their home during the film project last year) film project last year) is also now in full swing, and the Benčić Youth Council wishes to express their views and opinions regarding its design and organization to the Department of Culture of the City of Rijeka in writing. Davor Mandić, a journalist from the local newspaper Novi List, and Alen Kapidžić, an employee of the Department of Culture of the City of Rijeka, both members of literary associations RiLit, joined the Council for this session.
The first day of the workshop explored different journalistic techniques with Davor Mandić. The focus of the session was on creating news, an ideal form to learn article formats and interview tactics, which the Council will be able to apply widely in future workshops. After Davor gave a short lecture about a few of his articles and his role in the newspaper, he briefly described the sections in the newspapers and different forms articles can take. The Council implemented basic journalistic questions: who, what, how, why, where, when and the information source by each writing about this workshop as news. Reading their articles separately, the Council noticed each of their individual writing styles already apparent in this short article, even though they all drew from the same information. To explore the importance of accuracy and the reliability of information, the Council played “Panto Pletikosa” which is based on retelling a story with a lot of detail. One person reads the story silently and then whispers it in a second person’s ear, who then tells it to the third person, and so to the last. The last in the row retells the story to everyone else, and then together the group investigates errors and omitted data from the original story. Finally, we delved into the art of the interview. The Council shared their current interview methods, which they have used before with the workers at the train station as part of the summer school and the punk musicians at Club Palach. Davor spoke about some of his tips and how an interview can be presented, and then interviewed the Council and its mentors which will be shaped into a story for the Novi List. He invited the paper’s official photographer who photographed the group to share the many aspects of creating an article with the Youth Council. The second day was devoted to articulating a project description of Benčić Youth Council by its participants with Alen Kapidžić. We asked the journalistic questions of the day before about the Council iteslf, and brainstormed entries, which we then shaped into text. At the end of the workshop, we imagined the Children’s House from the practical to the fantastical down to the smallest detail, and then Alen presented the current drafts and plans.