Two years ago I had the pleasure of participating in 24/7: a DIY Video Summit, a jamboree of DIY and DIWO (doing-it-with-others) video creators and thinkers at the University of Southern California, where I shared some ideas from WITNESS about human rights video in this environment. One of the highlights of that gathering was the curational work done by the organizing team to highlight the best of DIY video.
Now, two years on, they’ve curated a new selection of videos, including many activist videos as well as a specific ‘See it. Shoot it. Share it’ section at 15:32 (and here’s the complete playlist)
In addition, the curator of a more extended activist video section, Sasha Costanza-Chock (who has been part of the great Vozmob project), discusses on Henry Jenkins’ blog how he made his choices for this more extensive selection. This is a must-read and watch if you’re interested in getting a flavor of the types of activist video out there as well as some of the bigger questions. The interview is in three parts:
DIY Video 2010: Activist Media (Part One) ; DIY Video 2010: Activist Media (Part Two) ; DIY Video 2010: Activist Media (Part Three)
Among Sasha’s selections he highlights WITNESS’ own 2 year review of the Hub as well as a whole range of other videos including a great example of contrast-based remix from the US presidential elections, US veterans’ resistance to the wars in Afghanistan and Iran, the powerful co-creation of the 350 campaign around Copenhagen, and a masterful music video/documentary on housing and justice in Detroit. And of course, Iran, Prop 8 (on the right to marry in California), immigrant rights in the US, and the aftermath of the quake in Haiti. Overall, it skews a little US and US-policy centric – hopefully in 2012 (DIY III, here’s hoping…) we’ll see even more of the burgeoning DIY video coming out of Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Also make sure to check out Sasha’s commentary on the challenges of commercial platforms for social justice activism (for a contrasting viewpoint on this see Ethan Zuckerman’s recent commentary referencing WITNESS’ own experience with the Hub), the history of video activism, and the shifts in social movement communication roles from people “acting as ‘spokesperson for the movement’ to ‘aggregator, curator and amplifier’ of movement voices”.
PS: In case you want to enjoy more video, here’s the first half of their featured selections from 2008 (and at the DIY 24/7 site you can watch the curated sections on political remix, activist video, independent arts, youth media, machinima, vidding, videoblogging… and anime music videos!)