Indonesia was the host-country for Video4Change, a week long retreat where different organizations came together to discuss how video can be used for social change and also come up with solutions for the resource gaps.
Engage Media and WITNESS co-hosted this event with participants from 12 different organizations all focused on using video for social change. From Engage Media's summary of the event:
One of the highlights was to witness the breadth and depth of how video could be used to contribute to social change. The participating organisations had different approaches and theories of change in using video for change. Some organisations use participatory video as way to bring communities together, some use video to document human rights abuses in order to make significant policy changes and to raise awareness on the realities communities are facing, and some use video to support community and citizen journalism to increase people's ability to represent themselves and their issues. This range of experiences contributed to being able to defining video4change.
Not all was discussion though. Throughout the process, as they mapped resources and materials available for those interested in using Video for Change, they were able to determine gaps in the knowledge available for training people in Video for Change. While enough material, resources and guides exist for some stages such as Strategy, Planning and Pre-production, while other areas needed more help, specially with updating, expanding and making sure the content is in a language plain to understand for the audience and including case studies and relevant examples and during the second part of the gathering, they came together to try and fill those gaps.
The MIT Center for Civic Media was one of the invited organizations, and on their activity report, attendee Becky Hurwitz wrote summarizing the event:
It was the best kind of hackathon. The v4c gathering was for building knowledge, v4c training resources, and community and it succeeded on all counts. Creating a successful event is some combination of planning, intention, and magic.
MickFuzz represented Transmission Network as well as more active FLOSS Manuals at the event. In his blog post, he made a point to highlight the work of organizations such as Witness, Small World News and Insight Share who produce training resources for using video for social change. The after-hours activities seemed to be as productive as the academic ones: for example, the use of an online subtitling site to find videos to sing along which are not usually found at karaokes, and the experiences of street screenings shared by Egyptian video group Mosireen.
This is a great way of bringing together communities and celebrating our identity and past history (and sharing it with others too!). That is a real Magnet and Transporter! In some ways, these kinds of grass roots community uses of video outside of the mainstream are for me the most exciting aspects of video for change.
Both participants and organizers have expressed the desire for more of these gatherings. In the meantime, Engage Media will continue to post updates and outcomes from the Video 4 Change gathering on their blog.