What is Video for Change -- and Its Forms?

by cheekay cinco May 16, 2013

[Cross-posted on the MIT Center for Civic Media blog]

Over at the v4c.org blog, the video4change Impact Research team have begun blogging about some of the issues, questions and lessons from the preliminary literature review. In a series of three blog entries, they have explored the definition of using video to impact and influence social change, and how organisations, individuals and social movements have done it.

In the first entry, Video for Change: What is It and Who Does It? the researchers have come up with the broadest possible definition:

“any initiative that emphasises the use of video for creating change, whether that change is at a personal or individual level, is focused on a group or a specific issue or is at a broader social level.”

They also walked the readers through the process of coming up with this definition through the scanning through a range of resources for the literature review. At the end of this entry, they asked the readers to define how they would define 'video for change'. Cicilia Maharani from Kampung Halaman (an organisation based in Indonesia) had an interesting response that talked about how video can affect change at the community level, based on Kampung Halaman's experience. Succinctly, she says: "We don't work with video, we work with peolpe. Video helps us to facilitate the issues and further spread the message to other communities."

Seelan Palay from EngageMedia posted video examples that define 'video for change'. He says that the videos gave an overview of what is happening in Southeast Asia.

The next two posts, Video for Change Approaches (Part 1 and 2), define how video for change has been done over the years. From Guerilla Video in the 1960's to modern Citizen Journalism, the entries go through other social and technological developments that have impacted on how we use video for social change. activism and advocacy. At the end of the second entry, the researchers question the current 'taxonomy' of video for change approaches and how the research that defines what video for change is can be useful to a broader audience.

"What we have learnt by thinking about the values and foci of these different approaches is that there are many different ways to support change efforts through the use of video; any attempt to develop a framework for measuring impact will need to understand this, if it is to be widely adopted."

Over the next few weeks, we will be blogging more about the video4change Impact Research, posting case studies from interviews of organisations that use video as a tool for change and the donors that support them.

If you want to be part of the discussion, go to v4c.org.