Opening and report by Swedish Film Performer Artist Sofia Wickman titled: “A Deviation From Everything”


From June 8 to July 2, 2015, I had the great opportunity to give a workshop in experimental narrative
video making together with artist and filmmaker Ryan Oduber at the Ateliers’89 on Aruba. In total we had
a class of 18 student from the age of 13 to 60+.
Ryan Oduber began the workshop on May 18th focusing on the basics of film and video making as well
as editing in Final Cut Pro X and Premier. I picked up on June 8, with the main objective to introduce
students to the alternative modes of narrative in film and video. Smaller group assignments were
handed out in the first week and on the second week the students began to work on their main
assignment; a video work of 3 to 5 min. Some students worked individually others collaborated in
smaller groups. Through hands-on experience, readings, dialogue, critique and screenings, students
began to carve out and get closer to their own way of working and visual language. A wide range of
narrative films utilizing experimental modes of production were screened throughout the course.
My initial plan was to have each student or group to present their process and progress with the whole
class as a method to exercise describing about your own work and to inspire and learn from each other.
Although I early on realized that many found that too intimating. I decided then to do individual talks with
each of them, giving them critique, technical suggestions and showing various examples of evolving
their work in a fun and experimental way. This way the students dared to be more open with me also
dared to take their work to the next level. I also learned that when screening from other artists/directors/
filmmakers the students had an easier time talking openly in class. I took this as an opportunity to have
shorter discussions about style, camera technique, mood and them have them expressions their own
The majority of the students were relative new to film/video-making and needed allot of support and
guidance. Support to dare and guidance into thinking outside the box, outside fictive filmmakers and to
open up to new ideas and possibilities. In all, students were open to critique and new ideas and their
capacity to evolve their work and artistic language was regardless to age.
A week before the presentation Ryan Oduber and I worked side by side assisting the students. Through
out the whole period of the workshop Elvis Lopez, the director of the Ateliers’89, was always present,
helpful and making sure things were in order. At the end it was a great pleasure to see how each
student project evolved on such a short time and how the works came to live in the gallery.
A Deviation from Everything was the title of the group show and presentation on July 2. I found it fitting
as how you as an artist or filmmaker often, if not always, have to allow yourself to let the work lead you
– and at times deviate from your original plan.
Looking back I feel very privilege for my time at the Ateliers’89 and on Aruba. Not only did it give me this
great opportunity to travel to a far away place I have never been to before, meet new people and learn
about the culture. But also, giving a workshop doesn’t only mean teaching others, it is also an opportunity
for you as an artist/teacher to develop and improve ones teaching and communications skills and to
get better at adapting to situations at hand.
MAY 18 – JULY 02 / 2015 ARUBA
Little did I know coming to Aruba of what this journey would bring. My plan was to stay just as long
as the period of the workshop with the assumption that after a month on a tropical island I would have
grown pretty tired of the sight of palm trees, beaches and flip-flops. Little did I know.
Through Elvis Lopez and the workshop I meet many new people, new friendships were created and
collaborations came to be. My professional network has extended and now stretches all the way from
Sweden to The Caribbean.
I will now share links and photographs of different functions I participated in my time in Aruba.
During the workshop Elvis Lopez arranged
for an evening of lecture and artist talks from
me, Ryan Oduber, Rebecca Roos; producer of
Aruba International Film Festival and Desiree
Croes from Aruba Short Film Festival.
Unoca Aruba, a foundation for the development
of the culture in Aruba was there for a reportage.
UNOCA photos:


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