The use of video for social change is emerging across Sub-Saharan Africa, where activists are using video in advocacy campaigns and engaging communities to discuss and address local social issues including sexual and gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, the environment, torture, war, and more.

To bring these groups together WITNESS and its allies SONKE and STEPS  have organized the first ever video-for-change convening in Sub-Saharan Africa. The convening will be attended by over 20 video activists from 13 countries including Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, South Africa, South Sudan/Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

During the three-day gathering, which begins today at the University of Cape Town, we’re aiming to create a space for video activists to share experiences, network, inspire and learn from one another and foster collaboration. Furthermore, we will support these activists and their groups to stay connected through the global V4C (Video-for-Change) network, as well as through our new regional Video-for-Change community.

A video about Nuba Reports, a group participating in this week’s training in South Africa

Some of the participants include: Nuba Reports  who have been using video to document the bombings in the Nuba Mountains by the Sudanese government; Zambia’s Vilole Images, a film production house that empowers advocates to tell stories of marginalized people and communities; and Cape Town’s Street Talk, who produce film series that highlight daily social issues facing South Africans.

A recent promo video produced by Street Talk about their programming which airs on Cape Town public access television. 

At the end of the three days, participants will leave with a better understanding of how video is being used in Sub-Saharan Africa, best practices on using video for change, and how they can continue to collaborate and share learnings through the video-for-change network. We will be producing a short video about the convening that will be shared with the global Video-for-Change network and through the WITNESS blog.

Photo: Bukeni Waruzi at a previous WITNESS training. 

3 thoughts on “Activists Gather in Cape Town, South Africa for First Video-for-Change Convening in Sub-Saharan Africa

  1. It would be great to see Madagascar represented at this conference.
    I was lucky enough to work with 6 budding Malagasy filmmakers from the rural Anosy region last year when they produced this video on sanitation and community mobilisation. Let’s remember that Madagascar is an island of 22 million people and not just a cartoon about lemurs! Hope the conference is a great success.

    1. Mr. Joe,

      We’d be happy to include Madagascar, however we thought that the language issue will be a challenge since Madagascar is a Francophone country.
      However, we’re organizing another convening for Francophone video activists in Bujumbura, Burundi (Central Africa). If you know any of the video advocacy organizations in Madagascar that would be interested in attending, let us know.
      We’d be happy to welcome them to that convening but we can only provide accommodation and meals during the conference, which means they will have to pay for their flight to Bujumbura.
      The conference in Bujumbura is set for Sept 16-18, 2014.

  2. I am a participant at the workshop and I have to admit that it is amazing to share other ways people use film for advocacy

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