I have been busy with vlogging, but had not explored the link with participatory video, hence I was looking forward to this meeting. My assumption about participatory video was that you give the camera to farmers and other people at community level so that they produce their own video. Though that was Chris' definition too, others used a much wider definition of participatory video in which you let people participate in the choices filmers make like topics, subjects, storyboard editing, etc.
The process of Insight's participatory video process can be summarized as follows:
- Participants learn video skills
- Facilitators help groups identify and analyze important issues
- Short video messages are directed and filmed
- Footage is shared and watched
- Learning and exchange is facilitated
- Communities have full editorial control
The advantages of participatory video mentioned (between the lines) were that it can help people to focus and articulate their opinions, you have a concrete product, which can be shared. It can foster consensus building, and it helps identity building, people can be seen more easily as an expert. I would have liked to articulate better how it can work to enhance learning and shift power relations. In some of the examples, farmers were listened too because they had a video. Otherwise they would have been ignored. In that sense, it can work to increase inclusiveness of development processes- but that has to be facilitated in a skilled manner. I suspect Chris is first and foremost a good facilitator who happens to use video as an instrument. I would like to become more skilled in knowing when to use participatory video, when an online discussion or any other means to stimulate creativity in a group process. I do believe participatory video can open up people's minds because it introduces variety in means of communication (as you could use other channels).
Various filmmakers shared stories of how they used to carry kilos of equipment, and that the new camcorders have made participatory video possible. I shortly presented my vlogging process (will blog this in my next post). I am convinced that this can be a next step in video technology, which can also work to empower the 'hard to reach' as they were called.
Jay Ded works on an interesting video project from India, which he announces here. He believes there is a great hunger to learn more about lives in other countries (especially in the south). Amazing how some of the world are disconnected; the vloggers, the participatory video people, the filmmakers. So thanks to CTA for connecting some of us today!