This is the first in a series of blog posts featuring our Video for Change Best Practices.
Since the start of the Arab Spring, we’ve witnessed a dramatic shift in how activists are using video to impact change in their communities . There has been an out-pouring of video content chronicling the events and multiple narratives coming out of North Africa and the Middle East. After decades of living under autocratic rule, major efforts are being made to document the struggles and human rights violations that are occurring in the region. Citizens are leaving visual trails of their movements and resistance, recognizing that this content can be used for more than just spreading awareness, but can compel people to take action.
It’s incredible to witness these social movements continue to grow, and it’s just as incredible to witness the
innovation by people who are working to carry out this change. Activists are no longer just point and shooting, they are beginning to think ahead. They’re developing methods in which their video content can impact long-term change and live beyond making this evening’s “Breaking News” segment. They are learning to identify human rights trends and film with intent. They are also recognizing the different roles their videos can play in terms of documentation and evidence.
Despite the leaps and bounds activists are making, corrupt regimes and perpetrators are making similar advances to crackdown and suppress activist efforts. As perpetrators continue to develop more brutal ways to quell demands for change, we’re working with activists on the ground, developing better filming methods that can better support their efforts while also assessing safety and security risks. We are also looking for ways to make our resources more accessible. An example of this is our “Top 10 Tips For Filming Protests.” Inspired by the success of this and the overwhelming positive feedback, we decided to share more best practices when filming in different scenarios.
We are excited to announce the Video for Change Best Practices Series, which provides filming guidance that will improve the likelihood that activist’s videos will be used by media, human rights organizations and as evidence in the future. The best practices also help serve to protect the safety and security of those involved in the filming process.
We have integrated their hands on experience along with WITNESS’ methodology and created a unique selection of tips that will help guide activists and citizen journalists while filming.
Accessing the Video for Change Best Practices
These tip sheets are available for download in both .pdf and .txt format. These tip sheets are also available in Arabic here. We’ll be spotlighting each of these Best Practices in a series of blog posts over the next week. So stay tuned for those.
- Before Filming – PDF | .Rtf | Blog post
- Filming for Human Rights Documentation, Evidence and Media- PDF | .Rtf | blog post
- Filming in Teams for Evidence – Five Roles and Responsibilities – PDF | .Rtf | blog post
- Top 10 Tips for Conducting Interviews – PDF | .Rtf | blog post
- Documenting Injuries and Casualties for Evidence – downloads coming soon. | blog post
- Sharing and Uploading Your Footage – PDF | .Rtf | blog post
Please Share and Send Feedback
Please share these tips with your networks around the world. We recognize that every country has it’s own challenges while filming, so feel free to adapt and tailor these tips to your situation for greater influence and impact. We would also appreciate any feedback on how to better enhance these tips by leaving your comments, tweeting to @WitnessChris or @RajaAlthaibani or by sending us an email.
You are the real experts and we want to hear from you!