Translated by Jackie Zammuto

Disponible en español/ this post first appeared on Periodismo Ciudadano

As we mark International Women’s Day and the UN’s 59th Commission on the Status of Women this week, I’d like to share some stories of those committed to gender equality who are using video in creative ways to achieve social change in Latin America.

In Nicaragua, for example, the Firefly Foundation (Fundación Luciérnaga) produced a participatory soap opera, Loma Verde, with rural communities to address issues around sexual violence. The organization states that,

Loma Verde is the first rural soap opera in Nicaragua. It shows us what things are like in the small community of Loma Verde, where love is mixed with lies, violence, fear and the characters’ adventures.

The Firefly Foundation developed the script alongside the communities from where the stories emerged. The experience provided many lessons about how audiovisual work can function in a cathartic and reflexive way, while also helping a society become more aware of gender-based violence, and therefore gradually work to eradicate it.

Last year, the Independent Information Agency, Subversiones, monitored the case of Yakiri Rubio, a woman in Mexico who was sexually assaulted and then charged with murdering the man who attacked her. After months of being imprisoned, she was released but the charges remained. Subversiones published a series of briefings in various formats, including video, that gave the case greater visibility and helped the public understand the case from Rubio’s point of view.

Workshop participants review a video.

Guides, like the one published by WITNESS on interviewing survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, can help more people use video to bring visibility to these cases without re-victimizing the protagonists of the stories and helping to prevent and eliminate incidents of gender-based violence.

This year in Mexico, Luchadoras, Social TIC, Subversiones y La Sandía Digital are conducting a workshop called Women’s Voices, Transformative Stories. Workshops like this seek to support women who want to share stories of advocates and fighters in their communities. In the words of the groups organizing the event, the project aims to,

make visible the transformative role of women as both protagonists of social change and as producers of their own stories, thus changing the traditional way we are represented in the media.

If you are interested in participating in the Woman’s Voices workshop, submit your application by March 27. Contact voces.mujeres[@] for more information about the workshop.

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