Chakalela (Algerian Youth Exchange)
‘Chakalela,’ which means ‘Change’ in Arabic, is a reflexive documentary about a group of Algerian High School students who visit the United States and exchange their culture and ideas with American youth. In July 2009, 25 Algerian High School students and 3 high school teachers were selected by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Citizen Exchange Division to visit the USA. During their visit to America, the Northern Nevada International Center facilitated workshops in community activism, civic education, and leadership in Reno, NV, San Francisco, CA, and Lake Tahoe, NV. Project Moonshine, a non profit in Reno, NV taught students how to document their experience using video cameras. In the tradition of reflexive, cinema verite documentaries such as ‘Chronicle of a Summer’ and ‘Sherman’s March,’ this film is shot entirely from their point of view and underscores the power of the camera. The footage encapsulates their experience in America and highlights the potential for more peace and understanding between the US and Arabic countries.