Online video has been a major topic of discussion at this year’s Alliance of Youth Movements. With three breakout sessions devoted to how to use video to build movements and reduce violence around the world, participants have been challenging each other to think critically about the effectiveness of their video work and how they can improve upon it.
During yesterday’s online video session, we used Invisible Children as a case study of an NGO using video well. They produce a new video about every two weeks, said Chris Sarettte who was speaking on behalf of the org, with the goal of connecting young people in Uganda with those in the United States and having youth in the U.S. raise money for Ugandan schools. This is the video that kicked off our discussion - a moving, inspiring piece that demonstrates the global movement behind the organization and calls for more youth to get involved:
One thing that is clear from Invisible Children’s YouTube channel is the specific narrative and tone as you hop from one video to the next. It’s an overwhelming feeling of hope, which is quite interesting seeing as that it would be so easy to convey sadness when discussing a war-torn region (for another example of this tone, see the video called “Michael Jackson in Uganda”).
But as one participant astutely pointed out, Invisible Children likely has a far larger creative budget (and staff - according to Chris, they hire 60 interns a semester!) than many of the other young people at the conference. One such person is Samar, a Pakistani filmmaker who is trying to create dialogue between different ethnic groups about the need for the participation of women in society. Today, she talked about this video, called “Where the Waters Meet,” which features a two singers from two different regions voicing a traditional folk song amidst powerful images:
Samar says that the video portrays the melding of two different cultures (”where the waters meet”) as well as the importance of providing opportunity for women in society. According to her, the video has gotten a huge amount of traction in Afghanistan.
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