In this interview, we have covered the profile of Manuela Maiguashca, who produces documentaries on stigmatized communities but also loves to share her media skills with students (both adults and children). Read on!


Manuela MaiguashcaManuela Maiguashca is a British media activist, living and working in NL, who produces and directs documentary media projects that focus on stigmatized communities, particularly vulnerable children. In addition to her film work, Ms. Maiguashca teaches media making in many Amsterdam based schools. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and using media as a tool for communication and social inclusion. She has worked in Africa (Ethiopia), Romania, Turkey, The UK, Germany and the Netherlands with international NGOs as an activist, director and producer.

Her film work has been broadcast and screened internationally and used in a wide range of international educational initiatives as well as in advocacy outreach campaigns such as: UN Development Programmes, The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, Eastern European Foster organisations, as well as many other initiatives dealing with vulnerable children, discrimination and human rights.

Ms. Maiguashca has experience working with hard-to-reach groups (stigmatized communities), which require a sensitive film approach (ex: traumatised children, women in child birth, HIV positive people living in secret, refugee experiences). Participatory filmmaking is built into her process: those filmed are given every opportunity to actively co-create. People who are filmed are not “single stories to be told or sold”. Her media process reflects this: projects are multifaceted, connected to community based work on the ground with both online and offline components, interactive storytelling, gaming and more recently, media designed for contact interventions.

She has worked as a media trainer in a variety of educational programmes: training Iranian and Syrian journalists. She was a visiting lecturer at the London Film Academy for 16 years teaching and designing documentary media courses. Over the last 8 years, she has also taught media making in many Amsterdam based schools – specifically focussing on how children and teenagers interact with online media. She is currently documenting young people’s experiences of screen life from age 7 to 17 in a media project called Friends Like Me. You can view these videos at: 

Ms. Maiguashca is passionate about sharing her knowledge and using media as a tool for communication and social inclusion.

You mentioned that you are passionate about teaching people about media, can you tell us more?

I teach young people how to make media – so they can become better filmmakers but far more importantly, so they can learn to be better media consumers. When I work with children, I focus on game based learning. Students work with cameras, iPads/iPods and editing software, exploring 2/3D animation, live action, documentary, journalistic reportage, gaming and social media. The children love to recreate epic dramas – sourced from their gaming, you tubing and movie watching, and I work with their ideas, and teach them, not only how to film and edit material, but how to do this safely, legally, and respectfully.

Film Crew Club

Over the years I have taught over a thousand children and co-created media with them. I have learned a lot from this process and am currently building a media project in which 7-17 years olds share, in filmed interviews, their experiences of screen life. This material is being used in my parent/teacher workshops to help bridge the gap between generations and to facilitate co-creation workshops in which young people and their parents can work together.

Are there any special moments that you cherish while teaching children?

I have had many wonderful moments teaching and learning from children. Connecting with them as we invent stories together is exhilarating and always reminds me that children have a fundamental ability and need to explore, invent, and seek knowledge.

To learn more about Manuela, read further at

Twitter: @manumaiguashca