Yo, Jackie Chan, how have you managed to transcend cultural boundaries so effectively in your films and humanitarian work? Hallo, Angela Merkel, do you approach negotiations differently depending on whether a man or woman leads them? Sup, Barack Obama, what is the craziest thing that you’ve ever experienced on Air Force One?
These questions, and many others, were posed by students filmed in and around Union Court throughout Week 11 as part of an upcoming project called “Refocus”. The project was created by a group of ANU students but spearheaded by its manager, first year Science (Advanced)(Honours) student, Brody Hannan.
“I’m providing a platform for youth to engage with influential figures in the Australian and international community,” Hannan told Woroni. “Refocus hopes to offer a window into the life of these leaders and inspire and empower students to achieve their own aspirations.”
The filming in Union Court marked the first step in the project’s mission to connect high school and university students with leaders who inspire them. Once questions have been submitted, either through video or social media, Refocus plans to get in contact with the leaders students name and pose to them the students’ questions. Refocus encourages people to ask questions without a technical or political focus and instead focus on character and personality specific to an individual leader.
Reflecting on her participation at the Monday 11th May filming, law student Joy Zhang said that “the filming experience allowed us to be creative whilst considering the best way to capture the message of the person speaking…we definitely had a heap of fun being stars for those few minutes!”
PPE student Oliver Friedmann was involved on the other side of the lens and expressed how, as cameraman, he enjoyed observing how students responded to the task at hand: “I found it really interesting asking people about their favourite leader, and trying to work out how the personalities of their chosen leader informed and reflected their own character.”
The rest of this term will see Refocus launch its online presence and begin getting in contact with the subjects of students’ questions. While the project is still in its early stages, it appears that the team behind it have the drive and enthusiasm to match its lofty ambitions.