What is Participatory Video?
Participatory Video (PV) involves teaching community members how to use video so they can represent issues that are important to them,
regardless of literacy levels. The passing of the camera to community members can yield positive dividends through development of a
community driven product the finished film. However, the process itself can also empower communities and act as a catalyst for change at
local level. PV has been used in a range of contexts to give voice to local communities.
Participants are introduced to the video camera They acquire basics through active learning Learning is equal: students become teachers Confidence is gained through new skills
Participants learn to use additional equipment Key issues are identified using PRA techniques Narratives are developed using storyboards The process aims to be fun & engaging
Different community views are captured Participants watch & reflect on their films Enables access to inaccessible areas Participation can be extended to editing
Films are screened to the wider community and Additional information can be incorporated from a Films can be shown to outside audiences including External screenings are documented to show
feedback is gathered range of community members researchers & decision makers communities that their voice is heard
¾ Can be used as a tool for participatory research and development: it is collaborative rather than extractive and encourages two way exploration
¾ Enables communities to represent themselves from their point of view, including indigenous knowledge which is often difficult to capture using text
¾ Empowers participants to release hidden potential and resources
¾ Contributes to skills development and capacity building so can be a way of giving something back to communities suffering from research fatigue
¾ Bridges gaps between people from different backgrounds and perspectives
¾ Facilitates horizontal and vertical communication: with those in power who are hard to reach as well as peers
¾ Enables community level analysis which can act as a catalyst for action and change
¾ The process is as important as the product!
(Photos: Beth Cullen)
Prepared for the International Forum on Water and Food, South Africa, 14 17 November 2011