When is it okay to watch? When is it okay to shout with the crowd? Filmmaker Chris Kelly explains his bright line between observing and participating. Do you agree? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
The challenge: Make a video that encapsulates WITNESS and its work empowering human rights defenders to use video since 1992, set against a backdrop of global events from the last 20 years.
n the past year, we have witnessed an unprecedented amount of media created by activists, citizen journalists, oral historians, and others who are documenting contemporary protest movements worldwide. As the volume of material continues to grow, questions about how to find, identify, verify, organize, and maintain this media for use as evidence and as historical documentation have become more pressing than ever.
This Saturday marks Human Rights Day, a day to pause and celebrate the rights we all share in common (even though they are not always respected or upheld). It also marks an opportunity for us to reach people who perhaps don’t think about human rights daily- as the mainstream media usually gives a few minutes of coverage to the topic.
A few weeks ago I was fortunate to sit in a dark room with the inspirational and multifaceted collection of voices that make up the Media that Matters Film Festival. Showcasing its 11th premiere this year, Arts Engine’s annual screening curates diverse independent films and shorts which jump start thought, conversation, and action – a celebration of video for change in its many shapes and sizes.
We have seen some great videos coming out from the Occupy movement around the country – from documenting mass actions to capturing police misconduct and abuse. Many courageous filmmakers, first timers and experienced professionals, are using best practices to record what is happening, and it is paying off. See this most recent example of video being used to help hold a Dallas officer accountable for shoving a protester off a ledge:
For most of us, the epicenter of video for change work that we’ve seen throughout 2011 has been in the Middle East and North African region (MENA). The Arab Spring has illuminated the reality of what “Cameras Everywhere” looks like, and what the power of instant video capturing and sharing can yield to inform and mobilize for truly incredible social change.
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